Emperor’s Cup vs Renofa Yamaguchi FC: Match Report

The game was concluded with 2 strong middle shots of Ryuji Sawakami and Souza. Without showing the unguarded moment on the defense side, they won an overwhelming victory and advanced to a round 16.


3 days after the battle against Sagan Tosu, 2019 Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League Round 22nd section. Cerezo Osaka was confronted to Renofa Yamaguchi FC, as the 3rd round of the Emperor's Cup JFA All-Japan Soccer Championship

Although this game was worried about the influence of the approach of Typhoon No. 10, it rained heavily 1 hour before the game started, but then it stopped, and the sun light showed up. There was no influence from the wind and rain. However, the sultriness was unusual, and it was a kick-off in a harsh environment that “sweat did not stop” (Atom Tanaka says).

About the starter, Cerezo replaced 8 players from the Tosu match. GK was Kentaro Kakoi, defense line from the left was Kakeru Funaki, Ayumu Seko, Matej Jonjić, and Eiichi Katayama. Souza and Leandro Desábato for the double-Volante. Hiroaki Okuno on the right side half, Tanaka on the left side half, Yoichiro Kakitani and Ryuji Sawakami formed 2 tops, and so they entered the match as [4-4-2] system.

At the beginning, although they gave CK to Yamaguchi in a row, when Matej Jonjić and Seko blocked firmly bouncing back, in 11th minutes, Souza made a pass cut in the middle and brought it to the shot. It was slightly over the cross bar, but around that time Cerezo started to dominate the game. When they pushed Yamaguchi in, the scoring chance came in 18th minutes. Katayama took the behind of the right side from the pass of Okuno, and brought it to 1:1 to GK, but the shot was blocked by GK. Still, when Cerezo constantly attacked, in 28th minutes they succeeded the opener. Sawakami and Leandro Desábato pressed hard against the pass that Yamaguchi GK threw in the middle. When Okuno picked up the loose ball and provided it to Sawakami, Sawakami received it outside the penalty area and shot like flashing light with his left foot without hesitation. A strong middle shot blew off the GK and pierced the goal net.

Cerezo constantly attacked against Yamaguchi, who was depressed from a mistake that was directly linked to the lost point. In 31st minutes, when they broke the opponent’s defense line connecting the passes from the right side as the starting point in this time, finally Souza kicked the middle shot in the center from the faint that he is good at. Cerezo increased the lead after piercing Yamaguchi's goal net again. On the defense side, they allowed only one shot for Yamaguchi in the first half. The first half finished, carrying the game with the defense as firm as rock.

In the second half, Cerezo turned to the defensive against Yamaguchi who had changed the members and come to the offensive. Then, in 49th minutes, the right side was broken, and they faced the first pinch in this game, but here DF blocked the shot using his body. It got nothing. Cerezo, who blocked the Yamaguchi's attack, in 60th minute, got the long-awaited additional point. As the starting point from Funaki, Souza, who took behind the left side from Tanaka's pass, provided back to the middle, and Tanaka picked up the ball, that was cleared by DF incompletely, and shot with his left foot. This hit Sawakami's leg and the course changed, and it was sucked into the net. It was a lucky at the end, but it was a stunning goal after breaking the opponent’s left side perfectly.

With one point that determined this match, Lotina gradually changed the players considering the weekend league match. He changed Okuno in 64th minutes and Matej Jonjić in 68th minutes and sent Kota Mizunuma and Yasuki Kimoto. In the 68th minutes, Masataka Nishimoto was sent instead of Sawakami, who played a big role scoring 2 points. Nishimoto entered to the Volante, and Souza shifted to the upper position and formed two tops with Kakitani.

From the middle to the end of the second half, the time that they were pushed by Yamaguchi continued, and Cerezo received the wavy attack from both of sides, but Katayama reacted firmly the trick of Paulo Junichi Tanaka. They firmly bounced back the cross from the side and did not give Yamaguchi the scoring opportunity. In the second half, although the ball was kept, only three shots allowed. They firmly closed the game and won an overwhelming victory with 3-0. They paid the debt of the defeat in the pre-season match in February and have advanced to a round 16 of the Emperor’s Cup.