J1 vs Vegalta Sendai: Match Report

Recovered from the big defeat in the previous section and won a victory. Kiyotake and Sakamoto each have 1 goal and 1 assist.

This was finally the last section of 7 consecutive matches in midsummer, August. For Cerezo, who defeated against Kawasaki Frontale in the previous section, it was a restart and a must-win match at home in order to catch up with the higher ranks.
At the beginning, the time that Cerezo was not able to carry the ball forward lasted for a while due to Vegalta Sendai’s press and the standing position, but they tried to break through by using a vertically long pass. From 10th minutes around onwards, as they gradually started to be able to progress to build-up, the game moved in 19th minutes.

Leandro Desabato, who returned as a starter, provided a long pass to the left. From there, Yusuke Maruhashi and Hiroshi Kiyotake attracted the opponents and changed the side. When Sendai was moved left to right, the combination of the right side, Riku Matsuda and Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, broke through the right side. At the end, Sakamoto entered a deep position and fed the return pass to the center, Kiyotake made a shot from one trap with skillful control.

Cerezo's movement started to improve from there and they made chances in quick succession. In 34th minutes, Sakamoto received a side change from Kiyotake and shot from the cut-in. In 41st minutes, Matsuda passed to the middle and Kiyotake dropped it with one touch, and Hiroaki Okuno shot. Both flew on nice courses, but were blocked by the fine save of GK. Cerezo was about to finish the first half in a good form taking the initiative, but lost the point from CK in the additional time. The half-time came in a regrettable development.

In the second half, Cerezo spent the defensive time for a whole from the beginning, but when they endured there, in 60th minutes, they scored at the first chance. By avoiding the Sendai’s press with passwork, they connected from Kim Jin Hyeon to Ayumu Seko and Maruhashi, then Kiyotake who received the pass from Maruhashi fed the exquisite through pass to Sakamoto who came running diagonally. Sakamoto scored in the right corner of the goal with his left foot, and Cerezo took the lead again.

From there, both teams sent the attacking players one after another, and Sendai counterattacked as two-top system. Cerezo watched the chance to Sendai, who was coming forward, and made a chance from the counter. In 78th minutes, Yoichiro Kakitani showed an overwhelming individual skill. He dribbled past the opponent and provided a last pass to Takagi. It did not reach the goal but made the stadium excited.

In the additional time of the second half, also Takagi and Koji Suzuki made a chance, and when Cerezo was carrying the game in the opponent’s field, the time went up standing up to Sendai's counterattack. They won 2-1 and succeeded in closing the gap again to 7, with the leader Kawasaki that lost in this section.