J1 vs Vissel Kobe: Match Report

The "Kansai Derby" held in the nervousness that was tense until the end, was scoreless draw without taking advantage of scoring chances.


3 days interval from the previous section. This was the second home game with crowds after the league resumed. The "Kansai Derby", which welcomed Vissel Kobe to Yanmar Stadium Nagai, sold out tickets, and it was a game with 4,981 spectators, which was close to the upper limit of 5,000 people.

In 9th minutes of the beginning, after a vertical pass of Matej Jonjić was cut by Sergi Samper, Andrés Iniesta dribbled and made a middle shot, but GK Kim Jin Hyeon solidly covered it. Nothing was happened and from about 10th minutes onwards, Cerezo started to increase the time to keep the possession. In 11th minutes, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Riku Matsuda broke on the right side, and Ken Tokura shot to the cross of Matsuda. It did not meet well, but the scoring chance came in 39th minutes. Tokura, who took the opponent’s behind to the pass of Matsuda, brought almost 1 on 1 with GK despite being surrounded by defenders, but the shot was blocked by GK. At the end of the first half, they stole the ball at a high position and launched a wavy attack. When Hiroshi Kiyotake and Yusuke Maruhashi broke the left side, Hiroaki Okuno jumped into the Maruhashi‘s cross and Matsuda picked up the loose ball on the opposite side and shot it. It was regretfully blocked by GK again.

While firmly preventing the attacks of the opponents centering on Andrés Iniesta, the first half finished with gradually grabbing their own pace, and in the second half, more Cerezo strengthened their initiative in the match. Then, a big chance in 54th minutes. Yasuki Kimoto jumped out for a head and met with heading to Kiyotake's CK, but it hit the body of GK and hit the crossbar directly. In 67th minutes, Okuno caught down the pass from Naoyuki Fujita and broke on the right side, and finally Okuno made a shot. And following 73rd minuets another scoring chance came. GK Kim Jin Hyeon connected the ball to Matej Jonjić and they broke on the right side again, and then there was a best opportunity for Kiyotake to be free to Matsuda’s cross in the center area, but his shot did not match with the bounce and flied over the crossbar.

As in the first half, although there were some pinches in the second half, "The players in the defense line and middle field, who needed to keep alert all the time, performed for 90 minutes with extremely high concentration." As Lotina head coach looked back, the defensive team, who proudly marks the least goals scored in the league this season as well, was not broken down to the end. On the other hand, including the players who played as substitution from the second half like Yuta Toyokawa, Eiichi Katayama, and Yoichiro Kakitani, Cerezo was aiming for the goal with a great courage to the end and made another big chance just before the game ending. They firmly built up connecting the pass and dribbled past the opponent, and showed the solid attack from the side starting form Maruhashi, and at the end Leandro Desabato who picked up the loose ball, made a shot as he imaged, but unfortunately it went next to the post. A sigh leaked from the stadium.

In this section, Cerezo was required the difficult task to aim to score going forward while defending the strong attack of Kobe, but all players on the pitch fulfilled their roles. It's a regrettable that they could not win with scoring at the chances, but "I am satisfied with the team. I am satisfied with the performance of the team against the strong opponents," Lotina head coach said. For the following sections, we would like to take advantage of the valuable 1 winning point that we got to one of J's most powerful opponents.