J1 vs Sagan Tosu: Match Review

Two Fantastic goals from Sugimoto and Kiyotake brings Cerezo a victory after four frustrating games

Cerezo were desperate to play well like they did at the final of the League Cup. The game against Tosu in rain began with vigor, which represented both teams’ tremendous desires to a win.

On the 2nd minute, Kakitani interchanged with Kiyotake in the centre and moved to the left. Maruhashi’s cross triggered an attack. On the 4th minute, Sugimoto attracted defenders to create space and passed the ball to Kota Mizunuma running down the right side. Mizunuma did the rest but it was judged as offside. Cerezo looked good from the start with a rhythmical passing move. However, gradually, Tosu started to dominate the possession.

Yoshiki Takahashi volleyed a mid-range shot on the 16th minute but it struck the post. On the 21st minute, Tosu capitalized upon the space at the right, and Yutaka Yoshida fired a shot but it was saved by Kim Jin-Hyoen. Yoshida collected the ball immediately cleared by Jonic, Matsuda challenged Yoshida to get it back, which resulted in a penalty kick against Cerezo. The first shot needed to be retaken. Ibarbo converted the second penalty kick for the opening goal that put his side ahead.

Cerezo pressed forward on the 25th minute following this tragedy. A ball from Tosu was intercepted by Jonic, Kiyotake met the ball with a header to send it to Sugimoto. Sugimoto collected it, skinned the opponents with a nutmeg, and danced past defenders. His left foot found the net. Sugimoto admitted later that it was a brilliant goal that struck the wide opened space. That superb goal helped his side to level with Tosu.

Early the second half, Cerezo faced an immense crunch time. Tosu kept threatening.
Yuji Ono met a cross from Ivalvo with header, sending it to the post. Cerezo almost conceded another goal. On the 52nd minute, Ibarbo exploited the right side of the Cerezo half. Kimoto forcefully tackled Ibarbo, thrusting his body in the box. But the referee didn’t whistle.

After the Tosu’s second threat, Cerezo scored the winner on the 58th minute. Cerezo collected the second ball. Jonic sent a square pass to Matsuda running behind Yoshida. Matsuda dribbled toward the inside, and fooled Yoshida by a brilliant feint, passed it to Mizunuma who was overtaking him. Kiyotake met his gentle cross at the edge of the corner, which reminds us of the fantastic trajectory of Mizunuma’s cross to Kimoto, the winning scorer, at the second leg of the semi-final in the Levain Cup. Kiyotake’s fifth league goals enabled Cerezo to go ahead, crowning his re-debut.

The game was a neck and neck. Later in the second half, Cerezo played offensively, not allowing Tosu any counter attacks or shots on goal, despite having struggled to extend the lead.

Prior to the game, Hotaru Yamaguchi stated his belief “ If we play game as a strong unit, we will win. We’d like to outplay them for tackling and sprinting”
During the game Cerezo proved his remark.
Hard work is a part of Tosu’s arsenal. Even so, Cerezo’s new approach with Kakitani joining the front and Kiyotake moving to the left side worked well. Eventually, Cerezo grabbed a victory after four consecutive disappointing games, which resulted in them being 2 points behind 3rd ranked Kashiwa Reysol.