J1 vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima: Match Report

A regrettable reversal defeat. They could not win the last match at Yanmar Stadium Nagai.

Before moving to Yodoko Sakura Stadium, this section was the last match at Yanmar Stadium Nagai. On the back stand, the message "THANK YOU TO ALL-Thanks to all Cerezo families" was decorated, and a special feeling was put into it.

This section was held after a 7 days interval from the previous section against Vissel Kobe. As Cerezo Osaka, Toshiyuki Takagi and Naoto Arai played as starters and they formed a [4-2-3-1] system that Hiroshi Kiyotake was placed under the top and received Sanfrecce Hiroshima. At the beginning, it was Cerezo who entered the game with momentum. In the 30th second after the start, Mutsuki Kato kicked back Takagi's pass on the far side, and Hiroaki Okuno shot. In the 6th minute as well, Okuno aimed to take the opponent’s behind from Kiyotake's pass.

However, when Hiroshima gradually took the initiative, Yoshifumi Kashiwa threw a middle shot in the 10th minute. After GK Kim Jin Hyeon blocked this, Kashiwa broke through the right side again in the 17th minute, but the cross did not match the player inside and it got nothing. In the 26th minute, although Kato, who came out to Takagi's pass, brought it to the shoot, the pace of Hiroshima did not change, and they also had a decisive pinch in the 35th minute. The header released by Yuki Nogami from FK flew to a critical course, but Kim Jin Hyeon touched it with his right hand to block. In the 38th minute as well, as Kim Jin Hyeon covered Tomoya Fujii's shot, the guardian deity who achieved 300 J1 games in total in the previous section was outstandingly active in the first half.

In the second half, Tiago was replaced for the injury, and Ayumu Seko entered a corner of the CB. Cerezo was not able to make chances well in the first half, but succeeded in moving the game in the 47th minute. Okuno, who competed for Kiyotake's CK in front of the GK, pushed in the loose ball that hit the DF. While it seemed that they would advance the match with the opener that they got in the inferior development, it was a lead just a moment, and in the 50th minute, they were caught up to the tie by Hiroshima from CK.

Then, in the 59th minute, Yuya Asano scored from the counter attack, and they allowed Hiroshima to reverse the score. In this scene, Cerezo's player made an appeal hard, saying that Seko's shot hit the opponent's DF's arm just before. It was a form that Hiroshima found the Cerezo’s gap to stop playing for a moment. After that, VAR was reviewed to judge whether the scene was a hand or not. Several other points were also checked and the match was interrupted for about 5 minutes, but in the end, Hiroshima's goal was recognised without overturning the judgement.

In the 66th minute, the manager Levir Culpi sent Riki Harakawa and Yuta Toyokawa at the same time. When they tried to counterattack, in the 82nd minute, Jun Nishikawa and Yusuke Maruhashi were also put in the pitch, and all substitution frames were used up. Cerezo boldly aimed for a tie until the end while changing the positions of the players, but they were not able to break the defense of Hiroshima and the time was up. They could not win the last match at Yanmar Stadium Nagai. Looking back on the game that left problems in offense and defense, the manager Levir Culpi said, "I am responsible for the attack not working well. I want to aim for the soccer team that can make more and more scoring chances." The next section will be an away match with Kashima Antlers, who is in good shape, after a two days interval. They want to overcome this difficult situation as one team and get a big win that will change the flow.