J1 vs Gamba Osaka: Match Report

"Osaka Derby" of Remote Match. Despite advancing the game to the advantage and scoring the opener, the regrettable draw.

The Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League Section 12, the match against Gamba Osaka became a remote match with no spectators due to the state of emergency issued by Osaka Prefecture. The 41st Osaka derby in the league match without supporters seemed something missing but the back stand of Yanmar Stadium Nagai was dyed in bright pink, and the word "OSAKA" emerged. "It was comfortable for us to play because there was the atmosphere of the home and the atmosphere of, like, a lot of people in the stadium dyed in pink," as Motohiko Nakajima said after the match, the choreography, which the club and supporters embodied what they can do now, encouraged the players fighting the Osaka derby.

Since the days passed for a while from the previous league match, the starters that attracted attention were Tiago and Dankler, who were the first appearance and the first starter after their joining the team, and also Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, who returned since the match against Shonan Bellmare in Section 6. Adam Taggart also entered the bench. At the beginning of the game, there was a scene to be attacked by Gamba, who took the [4-3-3] system since the opening game, but Cerezo immediately counterattacked. In the 5th minute, it was no goal due to offside, but Yoshito Okubo, who took the behind of opponents from Sakamoto's pass, shook the net, and in the following 9th minute, Okubo got another scoring chance from Naoyuki Fujita's FK. However, this time it was blocked by GK Masaaki Higashiguchi. In the 17th minute, Hiroshi Kiyotake, who picked up a loose ball of Fujita's long throw, made a middle shot. It was a strong trajectory, but it was also covered by the GK.

With the presence of Sakamoto who returned, Cerezo approached the goal in a good shape, but an accident occurred in the 18th minute. Okubo got injured in a competition with the opponent DF. He was forced to take turns, and Adam Taggart suddenly entered the pitch in the 23rd minute. Immediately after in the 25th minute, Cerezo had a pinch from the flow of CK, but Kim Jin Hyeon blocked it well and never let the opponents break the goal. After the water break, when they grasped the strategy of Gamba, Cerezo increased the possession rate and approached the opponent’s goal, then in the 42nd minute, Yuta Toyokawa's cross triggered the opponent's DF's hand and got a PK. It was a chance to score the opener but Toyokawa's kick hit the post directly. In the first half, they finished 0-0 while advancing the game to the advantage.

In the second half as well, it was a seesaw game entry but Cerezo gradually got the pace. In the 63rd minute, Motohiko Nakajima and Mutsuki Kato were sent at the same time, and in the 74th minute, Cerezo succeeded in the opener. Dankler stole the ball at a high position, Toyokawa competed for Kiyotake's cross, and Fujita picked up the loose ball and directly fed the pass vertically. Nakajima received on the left side and scored a splendid shot in the right corner of the goal and moved the game.

Since they did not give Gamba almost any chance in the second half, it seemed that the victory was approaching, but in the 82nd minute, Patrick scored on the PK given because it was judged that the opponent's shot hit Kato's hand. And they were caught up to the tie.

After that, Cerezo attacked to the end in order to take the second point while surpassing the attack of Gamba who went on the offensive, but the game ended as it was. It was a match that they wanted to win because they advanced to the advantage and took the long-awaited opener, but there were many bright positive factors for the future such as the presence of Tiago and Dankler who stood in front of the goal and the return of Sakamoto. They would like to move forward without looking down and challenge the Nagoya Grampus match in the next section.