J1 vs Vegalta Sendai: Match Report

Won the back-and-forth game and stopped losing streak. Now, to the match against the leader, Kawasaki Frontale.

3 days interval from the previous section against F.C. Tokyo, that was the first consecutive defeat in this season. Cerezo Osaka challenged the Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League 19th section against Vegalta Sendai at away field.

It rained lightly before the game, and it was a match under the condition the temperature went down. The first half fell in the back-and-forth game. Cerezo had a pinch from the side attack of Sendai, who returned to 4 backs unlike the last two games, but they responded it without rushing. About some middle shots from the build-up mistakes, GK Kim Jin Hyeon firmly blocked them.

The starting point for the attack was Yoichiro Kakitani, who played as a starter in the left side half this section. In 36th minutes, he carefully dropped the pass from Bruno Mendes and connected it to Yasuki Kimoto's middle shot. And in 44th minutes, he received Eiichi Katayama's pass and made a starting point on the side and fed the pinpoint cross, and it was Bruno Mendes that reacted on the near side. Although Cerezo had been allowed the opponent to take the first move in the last two games, they succeeded in scoring the opener in this section.

In the second half as well, Cerezo made a good start while carrying the ball. It seemed that they would continue to dominate the game, but in 57th minutes, Sendai found the chance for a moment, met a cross in the center from the left, and caught up to the tie score. Moreover in 65th minutes, Matej Jonic failed to clear the pass from the center, and they gave PK from the loose ball. In this scene, it seemed that Riku Matsuda managed to handle well the opponent with approaching himself, but it was judged as PK as he made the opponent fall with the leaned body at the end.

Immediately after allowing the reversal, Lotina head coach replaced Kakitani and Hiroaki Okuno with Hiroshi Kiyotake and Yuta Toyokawa. Once they started to counterattack, in 79th minutes, Naoyuki Fujita and Yuta Koike were also sent on behalf of Kimoto and Matsuda. After activating with changing the position of the side back, Cerezo caught up to the tie from CK in 81st minutes. It was Matej Jonic who came out for a head and matched Kiyotake's kick. When the momentum gained with the happy first goal of a uniform number of 22 in this season, in 87th minutes, they got another chance from the breakthrough of Tatsuhiro Sakamoto’s dribbling. Kiyotake shot to the negative cross, but it was slightly out of the frame.

Still, Cerezo, who never give up, succeeded in reversal in the additional time of the second half. After stealing the ball on their own field and connecting it carefully, they broke the left side with the direct pass through Ayumu Seko, Fujita, and Koike, and Kiyotake who received the ball finally cut in and shot as he aimed at. It drew a wonderful arc and pierced the far side.

When the team including the substitute players turned the game over, Shota Fujio entered in 90th + 3rd minutes and made a scene where he received Kiyotake's pass and approached the goal. In spite of carrying the game with the advantage after the opener, this section was the difficult development that was once reversed, but at the end it was a re-reversal drama that fused the whole team strength and Kiyotake's individual skills. In addition to stopping the losing streak with 2, they concluded the last match of the 9 consecutive rounds with a victory and will challenge the leading battle with Kawasaki Frontale in the next section.