J1 vs Avispa Fukuoka: Match Report

Despite Nakajima's J1 first goal and Kato's first goal at home, a regrettable draw without taking advantage of their numerical advantage.

After 3 days interval from the previous section against Yokohama F. Marinos, Cerezo Osaka returned home and challenged the Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League Sec 9 with Avispa Fukuoka.

In this section that Yoshito Okubo and Yusuke Maruhashi had returned to the starter, the manager Levir Culpi did not enter the bench, and the coach Akio Kogiku continued to take the command from the previous section. At the beginning, it was Cerezo who went on the offensive. In the 4th minute, Jun Nishikawa broke the side and shot. And then, the shot of Yuta Totokawa, who picked up the bounced ball after the GK blocked, shook the goal net, but it was no goal due to Nishikawa’s offside. After that, as GK Kim Jin Hyeon blocked Fukuoka's scoring chance, the match that started like a seesaw game had an accident in the 14th minute. The chief referee ignored once the tackle that Takaaki Shichi of Fukuoka made to Hiroaki Okuno, but as a result of the on-field review, he judged it as a red card. Shichi was sent off.

From here, Cerezo, who had one more player, dominated the game. They carefully turned the ball to shake the opponents and start breaking from the side. Both side backs of Maruhashi and Riku Matsuda also took high positions and repeatedly fed the crosses, but they could not break the defense of the opponents who solidified the inside with [4-4-1], and finished the first half by 0-0.

The development of Cerezo holding the ball remained unchanged in the second half. While they increased their possession and entered the opposition half, in the 62nd minute, the manager Kogiku sent Motohiko Nakajima to the pitch as the first substitution. However, Fukuoka was the first to move the match. In the 67th minute, when Fukuoka picked up the CK's loose ball, Masakazu Yoshioka scored and they allowed Fukuoka, who had a numerical disadvantage, to take the lead. Cerezo was now on fire. Two minutes later, they quickly caught up to the tie. The strong middle shot that Nakajima made with his left foot from outside the penalty area was sucked into the upper left corner of the goal, and it made the match returned to the start. It was happily his J1 first goal for Nakajima. In his first play in the J1 at home, he made a spectacular result with his middle shot, which is synonymous with himself.

In the 74th minute, the coach Kogiku put in Mutsuki Kato and Riki Matsuda at the same time. When the momentum was strengthened, it was Kato who reacted Maruhashi's cross in the near in the 76th minute. "I was conscious of getting enter ahead of my opponent," he said, controlling the bargain with the DF and hitting a reversal bullet, which was his first goal at home after joining the team himself.

In the 79th minute, Okuno's strong middle shot hit the crossbar, and Cerezo aimed for the third goal. They showed a strong will to attack to the end, but in the 88th minute they allowed Fukuoka a tie goal. After the ball was stolen in the middle and deployed to the side, Juanma Delgado shook the net with his heading from the cross. In the 90 + 5th minutes, Okuno reacted to Riku Matsuda's cross with his heading just timing. Even though Cerezo wanted to win, they could not, because of the big save of the opponent GK. The match ended 2-2 as it was. While showing the strength to repel behind, they gave the opponents small chances and lost 2 goals. It was a regrettable draw.