J2 vs Yokohama FC: Match Report

Cerezo had lost two and drawn one coming into this game at home to Yokohama FC and started with Kenyu Sugimoto alone up front, as he had done in the second half of the previous game against Kyoto Sanga when Cerezo came from three goals down to draw 3-3. Shohei Kiyohara also started despite having gone off injured against Kyoto, while Yusuke Tanaka and Yusuke Maruhashi were both back from suspension.

In-form Sugimoto led the attack well and Cerezo took the initiative in the game from the outset, with the No.9 opening the scoring in the 18th minute. After some good combination play with Hotaru Yamaguchi, Sugimoto broke into the box and tucked home with his right foot – his eighth goal of the season bringing the fans in the stadium to their feet.

Cerezo continued to play well and added their second goal in the 66th minute. Maruhashi sent in a corner from the left which was headed back from the far post by Tatsuya Yamashita for Kazuya Yamamura to convert with his left foot. It was 2-0 and at that point it looked like a first win in four matches was all-but secure.

But then in the 69th minute Yokohama FC brought on the legend of Japanese football, Kazuyoshi Miura. The 49-year-old striker completely changed the mood in the stadium, and pulled a goal back in the 75th minute. That proved to be the turning point of the game.

In addition to that, Cerezo lost striker Sugimoto through injury, and he had to be replaced by Ricardo Santos in the 76th minute. Three minutes after that, Yokohama FC broke though on the left flank again and Iba headed home the equalizer.

Cerezo tried desperately to win the match by introducing Keiji Yamada and Besart Abdurahimi off the bench, but it was the away side which went on to score the final and decisive goal in additional time, as substitute Tomoya Uchida finished off a quick break.

After establishing a two-goal advantage, Cerezo were embarrassed by gifting three goals to the opposition. The gap to league leaders Consadole Sapporo also increased to 11 points, with Cerezo dropping down to fourth.