The Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League in 2020 has finally begun. Cerezo Osaka played a game with Oita Trinita at the home of Yanmar Stadium Nagai.
GK Kim Jin Hyeon, who had been away from the team due to bad conditions for a while, returned to the starter. Hiroshi Kiyotake, who started at the bench in the J. LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP 1st section match against Matsumoto Yamaga FC, was also lined up as starter.
Soon after the start, Kei Chinen of Oita stole the ball where Ayumu Seko received the ball bouncing a little bit big, and Cerezo was almost in danger, but the shot was blocked by Kim Jin Hyeon. Then, right after in 8th minutes, they succeeded the opener. When they got a CK from Tatsuhiro Sakamoto’s breakthrough, the fourth shot after three short corners. Bruno Mendes reacted to the sharp kick of Kiyotake and shook the net.
After that, Cerezo entered from defense. Oita grabbed the ball and hit the side, but Cerezo carefully repeated the slide and bounced back, and mainly Matej Jonjić defensed back to the crosses in the middle. They returned to the first half with a one-point lead without giving Oita any scoring chance.
In the first half, Cerezo was dealing with Oita's side attack, but in 60th minutes the right side was broken through and they allowed Rei Matsumoto a decisive heading on the opposite side against the cross, but this was saved by the goal post. On Cerezo side, in 70th minutes, Sakamoto made a shot from dribbling breaking through that made the stadium excited, and in 84th minutes also Sakamoto played as the starting point on right side and Riku Matsuda, who had been participating in the offense, crossed. Like Bruno Mendes received in near side and made a chance, they aimed for the second point.
In the later second half, Yoichiro Kakitani and Yuta Toyokawa were sent as attacking team, and in 86th minutes Lucas Mineiro entered and took the place of Volante in place of Yasuki Kimoto and made his J. LEAGUE debut. After 60th minutes, Cerezo advanced the game without giving Oita any scoring chance, but the last play made them scared for a second. In 90th + 4th minutes, when approximate 3 minutes had already passed in the additional time of the second half, Chinen picked up the clear and made a shot from the outside of penalty area and it hit the post directly. While the entire stadium was in an anxiety and excitement, Yusuke Maruhashi cleared the loose ball and the match was over.
The opening game of this season to aim for the long-awaited first victory of the J1 league. Cerezo was struggling with Oita's press and a thorough side attack, but the solid defense, that they continued to train last year under the head coach Lotina, was still alive. They defended the entire blow of Bruno Mendes to the end and started a new season with victory.