J1 vs Tokushima Vortis: Match Report

Despite Shindo’s first goal after his joining, defeated due to the own goal just before the end.

The Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League Section 18, which was held ahead of schedule due to the postponement of the AFC Champions League. Cerezo Osaka challenged the match against Tokushima Vortis at home.

For Cerezo, the manager Levir Culpi returned to the bench for the first time in three games. The starters were the same as the previous Section 9 against Avispa Fukuoka, and they got a scoring chance as soon as the game started. Yoshito Okubo held the pass from Naoyuki Fujita, and Yuta Toyokawa, who came out to the pass of Okubo, became one-on-one with the GK, but unfortunately the shot hit the post directly.

After missing the chance of the opener, the match went on at Tokushima’s pace. Cerezo was not able to carry the ball forward as they wanted to the press of Tokushima. In the 15th minute, when the ball was stolen at a high position and they received a short counter, Taisei Miyashiro scored and they allowed the opponents to get the opener.

Cerezo was struggling against Tokushima's press, but in the 33rd minute Okubo came out to Ryosuke Shindo's feed and made a chance, and right after in the 34th minute, Shindo reacted to Fujita’s long throw with his header, and they caught up to the tie. This was Shindo's 100th J1 match, and it was happily his first goal after joining Cerezo.

From the beginning of the second half, the manager Levir Culpi sent Mutsuki Kato in place of Okubo and Motohiko Nakajima in place of Jun Nishikawa. In the 49th minute, Kato reacted to Yusuke Maruhashi’s CK with his header, but it slightly went out of the frame.

Even with it, the pace of Tokushima did not change in the second half. Tokushima made many chances, but the GK Kim Jin Hyeon showed good saves, and the defense line endured, so they never allowed the opponent’s break at the end. Then, in the 65th minute, they got a scoring chance from FK. From Nakajima’s kick, Kato made a shot picking up the loose ball, but it did not become a goal due to GK's big save. In the 72nd minute, Toyokawa shot from Riku Matsuda's cross, and in the 74th minute, Riku Matsuda's drastic middle shot threatened Tokushima's goal. The match gradually leaned toward Cerezo, and in the 79th minute, Taishi Matsumoto, who participated from the middle of the match, made a shot from the melee of FK, but it hit the post.

In the 65th minute, Matsumoto entered the left side half in place of Kiyotake and made his first play after joining Cerezo. After the match, he recapped his “debut match”; "I had been preparing for the turn to come anytime. The shot hit a post, but I think I cannot stay unless I score on that situation, so I will do my best to get results next time."

Cerezo made chances from set-pieces enduring defensively while Tokushima was taking the initiative in the game. In the 90th minute, when getting one winning point seemed to be realistic, the match moved in an unexpected way. To the cross from the right side of Takeru Kishimoto of Tokushima, who is from the academy of Cerezo and had a special feeling for this match, Ryuya Nishio made a mistake in clearing and scored an own goal. For Nishio, who had been striving until then, the regrettable play became the final point, and Cerezo lost by 1-2. The end was shocking, but they have Section 10 that will be held after a 3 days interval at home as well. In the very next match, they want to win and share the joy with the supporters.