ACL vs Port FC: Match Report

Despite losing point in an unexpected way, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, who played from the midway, scored a tie goal. Obtained 1 winning point and kept the top place.

AFC Champions League Group J Round 3 Port FC match after the consecutive wins. Manager Levir Culpi changed the 10 starters from Section 2 against Kitchee, as it was the third match after a 2 days interval. "I chose today's starting lineup in order to maximize the performance of the players while considering the physical aspects," he said after the match. Such as Koji Toriumi, who made his first appearance after joining Cerezo Osaka, the fresh members lined up on the pitch.

It was Cerezo who entered the match vigorously so that the feelings of those players could be expressed. Right after the beginning of the game, Yuta Koike came out to Hirotaka Tameda's pass on the left side and crossed. Taishi Matsumoto picked up the clear ball of the DF and shot with all his might. After that, there was time for Port FC to hold the ball, but when they quickly regained control, it was a scoring chance in the 19th minute. Mutsuki Kato, who came out to Naoyuki Fujita's pass, had a 1-on-1 with the GK, but the shot aimed at the course was out of the frame. In the 23rd minute Yoshito Okubo approached the goal aiming for a middle shot from a distance, and in the 29th minute they got another scoring chance. Motohiko Nakajima's sharp cross flew to the other side, and Koike on the left side crossed again. Hinata Kida's header was blocked by the DF, but Kato responded to the loose ball and shot. Unfortunately it hit the crossbar directly here.

While Cerezo could not take the chance, they received the counterattack of Port FC in the last minutes of the first half. There were some dangerous scenes such as a header from the cross, but they were about to finish the first half without losing a point. However, the game moved in an unexpected way in the additional time of the first half. The long feed, which Port FC’s Pakorn Prempak kicked from a distance to the front line, bounced high in front of the goal. Then, it passed over the head of GK Kenya Matsui, who was coming forward, and went straight to the goal. Cerezo finished the first half in a regrettable way.

In the second half, Manager Levir Culpi substituted Toshiyuki Takagi for Tameda and Ayumu Seko for Nishio. They approached the goal from both sides as the starting point with Takagi on the left side, and Nakajima on the right side, but the cross was bounced off and they were not able to bring it to a shot. In the 67th minute, the commander moved further to change the stagnated situation. As Hiroshi Kiyotake replaced Okubo and Tatsuhiro Sakamoto replaced Nakajima, the main forces were sent to the pitch, and the system also shifted to [4-2-3-1]. Then, this replacement plan was right. In the 79th minute, Sakamoto, who received Naoyuki Fujita's pass on the right side, gave a pass to Kiyotake and went forward, and Kiyotake fed a return pass with a heel. Sakamoto entered in front of the goal and swung his left foot, and this shot repelled the GK’s hand and was sucked into the goal, and Cerezo caught up to the tie.

After that, Toriumi, who was out of the pitch by hitting his head hard before the tie goal was scored, was replaced. Hiroaki Okuno entered the anchor and Matsumoto went down to CB. There was such an accident, but Cerezo fought for a reversal win until the end and had a big chance in the 90th minute. Seko removed the DF’s mark and jumped into Kiyotake's FK, but he was not able to reach it one step further. At the end, Cerezo was also attacked by Port FC, but they avoided losing point and the match ended with 1-1. Although it did not become the third straight win at the opening of the group stage, they obtained one winning point and kept the top place in the group.