J1 vs Yokohama F. Marinos: Match Report

This section to have been held in an unexpected situation. In spite of the players actively playing on the pitch, defeated for missing one more step.

After 3 days interval from the previous section, Cerezo Osaka challenged an away game with Yokohama F. Marinos, aiming for consecutive wins, but an accident happened before the game. The day before the match, it was found that one top team player and one top team staff were diagnosed as positive of COVID-19, and even on the morning of the match as well one top team staff was diagnosed as positive. In addition, a manager Levir Culpi, who was suspected of having close contact, did not enter the bench this time, and a coach Akio Kogiku took the lead. (After that, a contact from the health center revealed that "the manager Culpi is not applicable for a close contact")

In the match under the unexpected situation, three players Naoto Arai, Ryosuke Shindo, and Riki Matsuda were starters for the first time after transferring. Although the starters were different from usual, the players on the pitch were not upset at all and were playing with discipline in offense and defense. The defense that had marked the clean sheet in the last three consecutive league games worked even if the members changed. The ball was held by the opponent, but they minimised the number of times to be brought to the decisive form.

In the attack, they simply took the behind of the opponent and looked for a chance, and in the 8th minute, Riki Matsuda, who received a pass from Hiroshi Kiyotake, broke through vertically and crossed, and Yuta Toyokawa reacted with his heading in the center, which was a good chance. In the 10th minute, Riki Matsuda matched the cross of Riku Matsuda who received the feed of Ryuya Nishio, and Toyokawa pushed the bounce that hit the post and shook the net. However, Riki Matsuda was in an offside position and unfortunately it did not become the goal. In the 21st minute, Kiyotake threw a long shot when he saw the opponent's GK was coming forward, but slightly it went over the crossbar.

Except for the one that they had a pinch for being broken through on the right side once at the end of the first half, they finished the first half without any danger. And, they also carried the game without any lost points in the second half and three players who were substituted from the midway activated the offense. Motohiko Nakajima, who made his J1 debut in this match, tried to breakthrough with a bold dribble, and in the 76th minute, Mutsuki Kato, who came out to Kiyotake's pass, dribbled it by himself and shot. In the 83rd minute, Nakajima and Hiroto Yamada shot in a row from the counter.

Cerezo held the pace from the middle to the end of the second half, but while they could not score during this time, they had a pitfall just before the end. When they gave Yokohama FM a CK, Yokohama pushed it into the goal from a melee at the end and scored a goal. Cerezo showed the match like a coach Kogiku recapped the content, "Today, the players who got the chance showed their strength and all of them fought in the same direction”, but they needed one more step in offense and defense and defeated by 0-1. They could not bring back the points.

Even so, it is certain that "the biggest harvest is that the players who had not been involved in the game so far actively played" (Coach Kogiku) in this section under the unexpected situation. It is still a long season, and in terms of raising the level of the team, it was a match that also got a positive element for the future.