This section was Osaka Derby of the second time in this season and the 38th times as a total in the league. The chant battle between the supporters of both teams was enthusiastic before the match, and when the players entered, the supporters of Cerezo Osaka welcomed the players with a vibrant choreography with the word “Osaka” emerging.
Cerezo, who had entered this section after 4 consecutive wins in the league battle, had changed one starter from the previous section. Instead of Leandro Desabato, who had an accident the day before the game, Souza entered the corner of the double Volante. The game moved suddenly. In 8th minutes, Hiroaki Okuno received the pass from Matej Jonjić on the front and it was connected and deployed to the left side by Kota Mizunuma and Bruno Mendes, and Yoichiro Kakitani accelerated dribbling. Using Yusuke Maruhashi, who participated in the offense, Maruhashi once lost his position, but he rebuilt and crossed. It was Bruno Mendes who received it in the middle. Cerezo succeeded the opener with the goal of the number 20 for the first time in 8 league matches.
When the stadium stirred up at once, they got the additional points 3 minutes after. When Souza kicked the FK that Bruno Mendes got for keeping the ball from the throw-in, Matej Jonjić reacted with a perfect heading and energetically shook the net.
Cerezo was able to carry the game in an advantageous position with the two scores of lightning. After that, the time to be held the ball by Gamba increased, but as Cerezo, they responded without any panic with a sense of “letting them hold” (Riku Matsuda). Keeping the inside tightly closed and the defending with a compact formation with a good distance from the front to the back did not give Gamba a chance. They allowed Takashi Usami and Markel Susaeta to shoot, but both were in front of Kim Jin Hyeon and turned the first half with two points lead.
In the second half as well, it was Cerezo that moved the game first. In 56th minutes, when Bruno Mendes received the pass stretching his body that Maruhashi provided into the space, Kakitani, who picked up a loose ball while competing with the defense, left Yosuke Ideguchi behind with skillful feint and crossed softly. Mizunuma, who jumped in from the far side, joined with a jumping volley, and Cerezo took the third point to determine the match.
Immediately after in 58th minutes, Gamba’s head coach Tsuneyasu Miyamoto sent Ademilson and Patric simultaneously. They tried to counterattack taking advantage of the individual strength, but Cerezo's defense was not broken down there either. On the other hand, Cerezo had a chance while successfully striking the space created by Gamba coming forward. In 62nd minutes, Okuno shot from the Maruhashi’s cross and in 74th minutes, when Naoyuki Fujita stole the ball at a high position and quickly connected to Atom Tanaka, Tanaka crossed to the middle. It was slightly not matched with Bruno Mendes, but still they threatened Gamba’s goal.
In the additional time of the second half, Cerezo was returned one point, but brilliantly won by 3-1. In terms of content, it was a perfect victory that gave no chance to score for Gamba. The Osaka Derby victory in the league match was the first time in seven and a half years since the second section of 2012. After the match, there were supporters crying with joy, and Lotina head coach said, “I am very happy to see the faces that the audience is pleased with. For us it was the satisfying match.”
Cerezo has achieved 5 consecutive wins in the league match with the best form of a victory at Osaka Derby. They have risen to fourth place, the highest of this season, and succeeded in closing the gap with the top 3. While remaining in the momentum, they will challenge the remaining seven matches of the “serious game”.