J1 vs Urawa Reds: Match Report

Obtained the victory for the first time in four games with the defense of patience against an opponent in good shape and Yusuke Maruhashi’s valuable final point.

After a 3 days interval from the Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League Section 18 against Tokushima Vortis, which was held ahead of schedule. Cerezo Osaka received Urawa Reds and challenged the Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League Section 10, which was the home game for 3 consecutive games.

The starters were the same 11 players for 3 games in a row. At the bench, Hiroto Yamada entered for the first time in three games. From the beginning of the game, it was the development that Urawa took possessions. The passes were connected by skillful positioning, the pitch was widely used, and pinches were invited from the side. However, "Even though the opponents took a good standing position, I could respond well,” (Kim Jin Hyeon) “The possession was taken by the opponents, but we could firmly block at the end. I think we did not give chances like that.” (Yusuke Maruhashi) As the players looked back after the match, Cerezo responded with a well-controlled defense. Except for one middle shot on the close course just before the end, they did not let Urawa make a scoring chance, and finished the first half.

On the other hand, with Urawa's quick press, they were not easily able to carry the ball forward in the first half. While the manager Levir Culpi was required to improve the offense in the second half, he replaced Motohiko Nakajima and Hiroto Yamada in place of Hiroshi Kiyotake and Jun Nishikawa from the beginning. "I wanted to add the momentum in the attack. Considering the defense," (Manager Levir Culpi) he also swapped both side halves.

Then, it began at Urawa's pace in the second half as well, but with the time passing, Cerezo also showed vertical driving force and gradually increased the number of attacks. In the 65th minute, Yuta Toyokawa threatened Urawa’s goal with a strong middle shot, and then Cerezo succeeded in scoring the opener from the CK obtained here. Yamada headed Nakajima's kick, and Maruhashi picked up the loose ball that hit the DF and shot with his right foot. This hit the DF again, the course changed, and it was sucked into the far side of the net.

The stadium and Cerezo’s bench were very excited about the precious goal that was made while the development of patience continued. From here, the game heated up at once. It became an open development, and both teams made some scoring chances. In the 69th and 79th minutes, Urawa made chances with a cross from the side, but both headers got out of the frame and got nothing. On Cerezo’s side as well, Nakajima and Yamada, who entered from the second half, activated the attack. They became the starting point of the counter, and Hiroaki Okuno threw a middle shot in the 82nd minute, and then they got another scoring chance in the 85th minute. Naoyuki Fujita quickly connected the restart to Okuno, and Okuno dribbled and fed a cross. Nakajima was waiting there as free, but his header slightly flew to the side of the post. The uniform number 28, that celebrated his 22nd birthday on that day, but unfortunately it did not become his birthday goal.

In the additional time of the second half, Mutsuki Kato and Taishi Matsumoto, who participated in the middle of the game, also had a chance. Cerezo went through with the offensive attitude to the end, and kept the one point without being broken in defense. They won a “competitive match” (Manager Levir Culpi) against the opponents who were in good shape with 3 consecutive wins so far, and ended the last match in April with the first victory in 4 games.