Levain Cup vs Matsumoto Yamaga FC: Match Report

Good start with a large amount of 4 points. Won the critical victory to gain the momentum to the one-week ahead league opening.

J. LEAGUE in this season that started from J. LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP. Cerezo Osaka received Matsumoto Yamaga FC to the home of Yanmar Stadium Nagai and started the first official game of the season.

Ayumu Seko entered the U-21 frame, which is required to include one player as the starter, and joined one of the corners of CB. And for GK Ahn Joon Soo who joined Cerezo in July 2016, this was the first official game to play as a top team player.

In 5th minutes, Matsumoto scored the opener but, as Ahn Joon Soo looked back after the match “We could move on cheering up each other between players like “We have still 90 minutes, including additional time. We could do it again from here.”, Cerezo never got depressed, carried on the game and quickly caught up to tie score.

In 8th minutes, Riku Matsuda left through the opponent in front and crossed. When Bruno Mendes reacted Yoichiro Kakitani’s return, the shot hit the crossbar, but pushed in the bounced ball by himself. After that, Cerezo continued to seek a chance holding the ball, and Kakitani in 35th minutes and Hiroaki Okuno in 43rd minutes made shots, but they could not catch the frame and the first half ended as 1-1.

In the second half as well, they held the ball and attacked shaking left and right, and in 71st minutes, the winning goal was marked. Matsuda, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and the right side worked as starting point, and finally Yusuke Maruhashi shot as he aimed, from Yasuki Kimoto’s drop. "The distance that I am good at. I could kick it out forcefully." A self-praised blow pierced the right corner of the goal.

In 78th minutes, Bruno Mendes, who came through to the Maruhashi’s pass, received a foul and got a PK. In 79th minutes Bruno Mendes scored this by himself, and after Cerezo extended the lead to two points, the finishing blow was in 90th minutes. Yuta Toyokawa, who came through to Matej Jonjić's pass, dribbled through the right side. To the cross, Ken Tokura attracted at the near side, and Hiroshi Kiyotake received it at the far side and shook the net.

The first match of the Levain CUP was decorated with a winning star, and at the timing of a week before the league begins, they won the critical victory to be able to deepen the theme of “fusion of existing players and new forces” and “improvement of attack quality”.