Emperor’s Cup vs Gainare Tottori: Match Report

Okubo’s birthday goal and Okuno’s additional point. Decorated the departure of Yodoko Sakura Stadium with victory.


The second round of the Emperor's Cup against Gainare Tottori, that was the first official match to be held at the renovated Yodoko Sakura Stadium. Cerezo Osaka continued the system of the latest league match, Meiji Yasuda Seimei J1 League Section 17 against Vegalta Sendai. They challenged with the [3-5-2], in which Riki Harakawa was placed as an anchor in front of the 3-backs. About the GK, Dang Van Lam played as a starter because Kim Jin Hyeon was absent due to being elected to the Korean national team. He made his debut at Cerezo.

It was a match that they wanted to change the flow of league games that had not been won and give momentum to ACL starting from the end of this month. It was Yoshito Okubo who set the fire. In the 5th minute, after Ayumu Seko, Yusuke Maruhashi, and Hiroshi Kiyotake connected the ball and broke threw on the left side, Okubo finally competed with the DF on the far side to the cross of Kiyotake, and scored with his header. He made a splendid goal to celebrate his own 39th birthday and the departure of Yodoko Sakura Stadium.

After that, Cerezo also kept possession and controlled the game. In the 7th minute, they made another chance starting from the left side, and then scored the additional point in the 31st minute. Riku Matsuda, who received the side-changed pass from Seko, fed the cross as he aimed, and Hiroaki Okuno reacted on the near side. In this match, Okuno, who was making a triangle with Kiyotake and Harakawa in the middle range, smoothly came forward in this scene and demonstrated his scoring ability. In the 32nd minute, Mutsuki Kato picked up a clearing mistake from the opponent's DF and made a shot, and in the 45th minute as well, Okubo held Seko's feed, and Kato came out and shook the goal net, but Kato was slightly offside. In the defensive, Cerezo did not give Tottori a scoring chance. Only in the scene of the 21st minute where they had a pinch from the counter, Tiago showed his outstanding strength on a 1-on-1. He stopped the opponent's breakthrough.

In the second half, Cerezo was attacked by Tottori, who had strengthened their offensive, including the substitution of two players. In the 46th minute, the side was broken and they allowed the opponent to give a scoring chance, but the last shot flew over the crossbar and there was nothing to happen. After that as well, on the contrary of the first half, Tosu kept possession for a long while. Even so, Cerezo also responded by making a defensive block with [5-3-2]. They firmly bounced the crosses back to the inside, quickly carrying the stolen ball forward and aiming for the third goal. In the 71st minute, a manager Levir Culpi instructed the substitution for two members at the same time. He replaced Kato and Ryuya Nishio, who was a starter as one corner of the 3-backs, for Yuta Toyokawa and Toshiyuki Takagi and changed the system to [4-4-2].

In the 82nd minute, Motohiko Nakajima, who had left the matches due to an injury, entered in place of Okubo, and he made his return for the first time since the J1 Section 13 against Nagoya Grampus. They changed the system to [4-2-3-1] that Nakajima entered the right side and Kiyotake was placed under the top. In the 85th minute, Takagi pressed from the front and Toyokawa approached the loose ball, but the shot was slightly out of the frame. At the end of the game, Cerezo made many chances centering Nakajima as the starting point, but they could not take the third point. Even so, they won without danger by taking advantage of the two-point lead they got in the first half. They decorated the first match of the renovated Yodoko Sakura Stadium with a victory, and advanced to the third round of the Emperor's Cup.