EC vs R.Velho Takamatsu: Match Report

Cerezo Osaka played their first match of the 2016 Emperor's Cup at home to Shikoku regional league side R-Velho Takamatsu, who earned their place in the competition as the representative of Kagawa Prefecture.

Seeing as there had been six days since the previous league game against Zweigen Kanazawa Cerezo didn't make many changes to their usual line-up, but midfielder Souza and goalkeeper Kenta Tanno came in in place of Hotaru Yamaguchi and Kim Jin-hyeon, who were both on international duty for the World Cup qualifiers with Japan and South Korea, respectively.

Defender Tatsuya Yamashita was also given a rest, with Kota Fujimoto returning to the starting lineup for the first time since November 2014. Rookie striker Ryuji Sawakami also made his first start in the first team.

Kenyu Sugimoto hit the bar with a header just 40 seconds after kick-off, and Cerezo continued to dominate play in the opponents' half. Takamatsu were defending with all their players, but in the 17th minute Cerezo made the breakthrough. Sawakami received a vertical pass from Souza and his shot hit the post, but Noriyuki Sakemoto prodded the rebound into the net.

In the 39th minute, another Souza pass created another opportunity.This time Sakemoto sent in a cross from the right, and while Kazuya Yamamura’s header was saved by the goalkeeper, Sawakami pounced on the loose ball to score his first goal for the first team.

Then began a goal-fest for No.9 Sugimoto, who scored his first goal just before half time on a counter-attack. In the second half, he added another four goals in the 51st, 64th, 74th, and 76th minutes to finish the game with a personal tally of five strikes.

Yusuke Maruhashi and Souza also got their names on the score sheet, with efforts in the 57th and 68th minutes. Keiji Tamada then rounded off the scoring and made it 10-0 in additional time, coolly rounding the keeper and tucking home after winning the ball in the area to claim his first goal of the season after coming on in the 86th minute.