ACL vs Port FC: Match Report

The satisfying victory in the rematch against Port FC with 3-0! Second place or less was confirmed in the group. Aiming to break through as first place in the remaining 2 games.

Section 4 against Thailand's Port FC, which was a rematch after a 2 days interval. Cerezo Osaka had changed 8 starters from the previous section. When the players with enough rest attacked with the engine fully open from the beginning, they got the opener in the 12th minute. Hiroshi Kiyotake raised a highly accurate cross from Riki Harakawa's short corner, and Yusuke Maruhashi, who was on the far side, shot with his left foot from an exquisite chest trap. He struck a blow to the other side, which he was convinced by himself as "It flew to a good course." The team, which was unified with the intention of "going forward from the front at the beginning, stealing the ball and making a quick attack" (Yoshito Okubo), continued to press from the front when it became the opponent's ball, stole it at a high position, and connected to an attack.

In the 16th minute, Maruhashi, Tameda, and Kiyotake connected the ball, and Tameda shot at the end. It was unfortunately blocked by the GK, but threatened the opponent's goal with a flowing attack. Tameda shot from the cut-in in the 24th minute as well. He approached the goal with a bold attitude. Except for having given a chance to the opponent just once in the 31st minute, Cerezo dominated and carried the match, and the long-awaited additional goal was scored in the 45th minute, just before the end of the first half. Tiago kicked back the CK of Harakawa, and Okubo headed on the other side. It was blocked by the GK once, but he calmly squeezed the bounce in and shook the goal net.

With the goal of Okubo, who scored in the ACL for the first time in 7 years, they started the second half with 2 points lead. Port FC substituted 3 members at the same time and counterattacked, but Cerezo scored the third goal in the 47th minute, as if to discourage the opponent. The scorer was Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, who scored a tie goal to save the team in the previous section. After receiving Kiyotake's pass and holding the ball on the right side, he entered the penalty area with one-two with Riku Matsuda. He carefully looked at the position of the opponent GK and calmly aimed at the course and scored with his left foot. In the 50th minute, Cerezo had a tense moment when John Baggio's long shot hit the crossbar, but from there on, they actively replaced players and proceeded with the match aiming for additional points. Mutsuki Kato and Motohiko Nakajima entered in the 56th minute, and Kiyotake left and Hinata Kida was sent to the pitch in the 65th minute. Kida entered the anchor position and Okuno was placed as FW. Then, in the 66th minute, Kato, who took the back from Okuno's pass, made a shot, but it was regrettably no goal due to an offside judgement. In the 69th minute, Okuno threw a shot from one-two with Kato, but this time it was blocked by the GK's good save. In the 73rd minute as well, Kato jumped into Maruhashi's cross, but the shot was blocked by the GK again.

In the 78th minute, Riki Matsuda and Hiroto Yamada, who were participating for the first time in this tournament, entered the pitch, and in the 88th minute, Yamada, who came out to Kida's through pass, made a shot from the dribble. Riki Matsuda approached the punched-out loose ball by the GK, and it seemed that he was kicked by the opponent DF, but there was no PK judgment and Riki Matsuda's foul was taken. Riki Matsuda, who hurt his leg and went off the pitch once, came back again and was relieved. In the end, they could not get the fourth goal, but the match ended as it was 3-0. "In all elements, I felt we did well about today's match," as Manager Levir Culpi said after the match, they won a satisfying victory. As a result, second place or less in Group J was confirmed. With the remaining two games, they will try to break through the group stage in first place.