J1 vs FC Tokyo: Match Report

One more step to the goal. Regrettable draw, but Kim Jin Hyeon saved the team at the end.

It was the 3rd game of the 7 consecutive games in the midsummer, the 9th section, the match against F.C. Tokyo. After 3 days interval from the 2nd section of Levain Cup, the match against Urawa Reds, Cerezo Osaka, who had a series of home game, changed one player of starter from the Shonan Bellmare game of the previous section. Bruno Mendes, who returned in Urawa match, made a comeback in the league as well.

At the beginning, after Cerezo defended the offensive of F.C. Tokyo, they firmly kept the possession, shook the opponents left to right using the long ball effectively, and made a scoring chance in 11th minutes. Hiroshi Kiyotake, who received Naoyuki Fujita's long pass on the left side, provided a long cross to the opposite side. Tatsuhiro Sakamoto ran into it and met it as free, but regrettably his left foot shot hit the GK.
In 23rd minutes, also Hiroaki Okuno became a starting point of attack and deployed on the right side. They directly connected the ball to Riku Matsuda, Kiyotake, Okuno, and finally Fujita picked up the clear of DF and made a middle shot. It flew to a good course, but it was slightly outside of the frame.

Cerezo, who controlled the game and managed risk thoroughly, minimized the counter attacks of F.C. Tokyo. In 44th minutes when the only scared moment was happened in the first half, at the scene that Shuto Abe made a shot from one-two of Kensuke Nagai and Leandro, Riku Matsuda blocked it. The first half ended with 0-0.

In the second half, Cerezo, who accelerated the tempo of the pass, attacked further, and in 48th minutes, Sakamoto broke through from left side and made a shot. In 53rd minutes, Kiyotake aimed for a goal with a controlled shot. In 76th minutes, Sakamoto became the starting point, and Matsuda broke the right side completely and crossed. Yusuke Maruhashi picked up the cleared ball and made a middle shot. Although they challenged a wavy attack, they were not able to break the defense of F.C. Tokyo. In 86th minutes, Toshiyuki Takagi, who played in the game for the first time this season, entered the pitch and a big applause was sent from the stand. Then, in 88th minutes, two of them, Ken Tokura, who also entered from the midway of the second half, and Takagi made a chance, but they were not able to bring it to the shot.

One point was far for Cerezo in front of F.C. Tokyo who had high defensive consciousness. In defense, there was no open seam in the center centering on Matej Jonjić and Ayumu Seko in the second half as well, and they could suppress F.C. Tokyo's attacks, but in the additional time a scared scene was seen. Adailton held the ball from the opponent’s GK and broke through dribbling and crossed, and Leandro was jumping into it and sharply headed. At the last minute when they almost made up their mind to lose point, GK Kim Jin Hyeon showed a big save. He kicked the ball out on the line and defended the goal.

Although Cerezo wanted 3 winning points due to predominating in the game, they barely obtained 1 winning point in the way to be saved by the guardian deity at the end. They missed the 3 consecutive victory in the official game, but now they have no lost game in 5 league matches. Using the matured organizational strength as a weapon, they challenge 2 consecutive away matches, the Cup game after 2 days interval and League game.