J1 vs Yokohama FC: Match Report

With Hiroshi Kiyotake’s outstanding play related to 2 goals, decorated a start of 9 consecutive official games with win.

It was a start of 9 consecutive official games. Cerezo Osaka, who challenged Yokohama FC in the away stadium, changed 2 starters from the previous section against Vegalta Sendai. Leandro Desabato was out, Yusuke Maruhashi entered the bench, and Toshiyuki Takagi and Eiichi Katayama were the starting members. For Katayama it was the first time to be a starter of league match in this season.
Teams that wanted to hold the ball and control the game, while having the possession, carefully connected passes and tried to break the opponent's formation. At the beginning, although there was a time that Yokohama FC held the ball for a while, Cerezo endured with no rush including the set play and then, in 14th minutes, took the first chance.

Takagi flicked the vertical pass from Hiroaki Okuno, who was a starter as Volante in this match, and then Kiyotake received it in the middle, dribbled past DF, seeing GK's position, and calmly poured into the right corner of the goal and scored the opener.

From there, Cerezo controlled the game. Even when the opponent had the ball, they did not let the opponents speed up nor make a shooting opportunity. On the other hand, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto made a quick turn at a deep position and shot in 38th minutes, and Katayama received Naoyuki Fujita's long pass and made a shot from a chest trap in 44th minutes. Both were blocked by the defense of the opponent, and did not become the second goal, but effectively created opportunities.

It was Cerezo that started the good offense from the beginning of the second half. In 47th minutes, the shot that Sakamoto made from cut in was bounced on the crossbar, but in 58th minutes, a long-awaited additional goal was marked. From the place where Katayama made a pass cut in their own field, they connected to Kiyotake, Fujita, and Kiyotake, and then after Kiyotake received in a large space he accelerated with dribbling. When he attracted 3 opponent defenders with his kick feint, Okuno responded to the loose ball and connected to Bruno Mendes who was free, and the shot of Bruno Mendes calmly shook the net.

Cerezo showed a perfect match with two points ahead while controlling well in defense, but as Lotina head coach looked back after the match saying, "It was the last 15 minutes that were very difficult", only thing that Cerezo could do in the final stage was defense, and they lost a point in 86th minutes. When they were attacked further, the opponents deeply entered just before the end of the game, but Riku Matsuda and Kim Jin Hyeon blocked the last shot with their body. They did not allow the opponent to score the tie.

Then, the player, who came out in 76th minutes during “the last 15 minutes” that Lotina head coach mentioned, was Shunsuke Nakamura who used to wear the no.10 uniform of Japanese national team. With his casual vertical pass and side change, it was undeniable that Cerezo had been pushed down. Once again, his high level of technical skill and awesomeness were impressive.
Cerezo, who won the game, has increased to 27 points and moved up to second place again. They have succeeded in adding momentum to the 9 consecutive official games starting from this section. After 2 days interval, they will challenge the game against Kashiwa Reysol, the prime stage of the J. League YBC Levain Cup.