It was the last match of the group stage of 2019 J League YBC Levain Cup. Cerezo Osaka only needed at least to draw this game to progress to the knockout tournament, and faced Oita Trinita at home.
From beginning, Cerezo started the match vigorously by actively pressing from the front, then in 5th minute, they gained FK by foul on Toshiyuki Takagi who was knocked down when he ran through to behind, and in 6th minute, succeed their opening goal by Souza’s direct kick. That gave Cerezo the advantage to conduct the game, and after that, although Oita held the ball, Cerezo aimed the 2nd goal from the counter. In 26th minute, Souza stole the ball, then Yoichiro Kakitani made a through pass to Atomu Tanaka who had the one versus one chance against GK, however his shot just missed the target. Also in 39th minute, Souza entered into the opponent’s penalty area by dribbling, and threatened Oita’s goal.
Cerezo, in defence-wise, didn’t allow Oita any chances too. In the 1st half’s additional time, Oita’s Ryotaro Ito made a shot by taking the ball that was cleared by a Cerezo’s defence, made a shot, and that was the only close call, however the shot missed the target.
Into the 2nd half with 1 goal lead, it was also Cerezo who had the 1st opportunity. In 48th minute, Tanaka diverted Matej Jonjic’s pass by header, Takagi who ran through behind received the ball and made one vs one situation against GK, but his shot was stopped by the GK.
After that, Cerezo was attacked by Oita for a while, but they kept their concentration well, and didn’t give any chances to Oita. In 62nd minute, from a pass sent by Thitiphan to Yusuke Goto who nearly made through to behind, however GK Kakoki Kentaro made a good judgement to come up and cleared it by his foot. Then after getting over that crisis, in 71st minute, Cerezo had the additional goal that they were longing for. Souza made a long shot from near the halfway line, that went over above GK William Popp’s head, and into right corner of the goal. As Souza himself said after the match; ‘it was the goal I’ll never forget’, it was a fantastic goal.
As they gained the decisive 2nd goal, in 79th minute, Miguel Lotina, the manager sent Hiroto Yamada as a substitute to Takagi, and aimed the 3rd. In 85th minute, Kakitani stole the ball from the opponent’s pass error, dribbled through, fainted GK and made a shot, but it unluckily hit the post. After all, although they couldn’t score the 3rd, Cerezo kept their concentration on their defence until the end, and won the match 2-0. Cerezo Osaka succeeded to retaliate on their loss against Oita at the 1st match of the group stage, and progressed to the knockout as the top of Group C.