The 11 starting members were exactly the same as previous game against Yokohama F Marinos. They had Tatsuya Yamashita who‘s recovered from injury and Kota Mizunuma as substitutes. At the early stage of the game, Kashima Antlers mainly held on ball, but Cerezo defended well by linked formation topped by Kenyu Sugimoto and Kazuya Yamamura. They kept their cool and succeeded to establish their way to play the game. It was just one occasion in the 1st half, at 42nd minute, got a goal attempt from the centre gap, however GK Kym Jin-hyeon firmly denied.
Though Cerezo’s ball possession time was less than Kashima’s, Cerezo overwhelmed in the running distance, and never defeated at ‘fighting for the ball’ as Kunimitsu Sekiguchi pointed out for the importance prior to the game, and overall Cerezo played better than their opponent in 1st half. Then soon after start of the 2nd half, they moved the game forward. Sekiguchi stole the ball at low position in their own territory and passed it to Sugimoto at top. Sugimoto received and dropped the ball to Elierce Barbosa de Souza, then Souza made a fantastic pass to Sekiguchi who run up to the top. Sekiguchi then went into right side and made a near goal cross that was perfectly caught by Yamamura who’s been very determined for the game at his old club. He managed to become free from his old team mate Naomichi Ueda’s marking, and sank the ball into the net by header.
Even after the goal, Cerezo eagerly continued to seek for the 2nd goal, at 60th minute, combination play from Yoichiro Kakitani to Hotaru Yamaguchi and back to Kakitani into the penalty area to attack goal, and 69th minute, through-in received by Yamaguchi passed onto Kakitani then to Yamamura who created another chance. However Kashima who didn’t want to be defeated on their home ground started their fierce counterattack for the rest of the game. But Cerezo players never switched off their concentration until the end. At 88th minute, the strike by Kento Misao of Kashima narrowly hit the post, before end of the game Kim Jin-hyeon made some great saves, and made to the end of the game without any more goals. Cerezo earned 3 fantastic winning points against last season’s J league champion Kashima Antlers, with a great performance.
All the players never stopped moving their feet on the pitch until the end, fought through the entire game, and Cerezo Osaka grabbed the great victory. They are in great force by 3 consecutive league wins, and will face Gamba Osaka at home, Yanmar Stadium Nagai, for Osaka derby next.