J1 vs Vissel Kobe: Match Report

The first match at Yodoko Sakura Stadium closed the curtain with a dramatic tie-bullet by Koji Toriumi. Obtained 1 winning point that will lead to the future.


It was the first official match after returning from the AFC Champions League, the first match at the Yodoko Sakura Stadium, and the first match at home with the spectators in about three months. The stadium had been full of enthusiasm since before the game, and it was the match against Vissel Kobe in this section that was full of the atmosphere of having been waiting to see the soccer.

As a league match, Cerezo had not won since the match against Urawa Reds in Section 10. They entered the game to bring the good flow that they got in the ACL to the league match. It was the seesaw game at the beginning of the first half, but gradually Kobe pushed in with the possession centering Sergi Samper. In the 9th minute, at the pinch that Douglas came out, Ryuya Nishio returned and covered hard. He defended without letting Douglas shoot. The player to watch out for in Kobe is Kyogo Furuhashi. His complete transfer to Celtic was announced the day before this match, and this section became his last match in the J League before the transfer. The number 11 showed a strong will for the goal.

Kim Jin Hyeon blocked his strong shot in the 25th minute, but in the 30th minute, the right side was broken and he scored as if we could say he left a souvenir. In the first half, Cerezo suffered from Kobe's tight press and could not bring it to the shoot as they wanted. Like the breakthrough of Hirotaka Tameda, who was the first starter in the league match after his joining, and the breaking out of Yoshito Okubo, they were about to take a chance, but they were not able to break the defense of Kobe and finished the first half with a one-point behind.

In the second half, Manager Levir Culpi replaced two players. Hiroshi Kiyotake and Tameda were out, and Mutsuki Kato and Toshiyuki Takagi were sent in. In the second half, Cerezo showed an aggressive start. They took a stance of stealing the ball from the front, picking up the second ball and pushing up the side. In the 49th minute, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto shot a loose ball of CK that Riku Matsuda cut in and gained. They raised the signal of a counterattack. In the 54th minute, Kobe had a scoring chance, but Kim Jin Hyeon made a super save and did not allow the second goal. In the second half, Kobe's defensive start weakened, and Cerezo took control of the match. They enhanced the ball possession, and even if they lost the ball, they quickly regained it, leading to a secondary attack. In the 76th minute, Riki Harakawa stole the ball and launched a counterattack. Kato came out to Sakamoto's pass and made a shot, but it was blocked by the GK. They got another scoring chance in the 79th minute. They broke the side from the throw-in, and Kato headed to Takagi’s cross, but it was slightly out of the frame.

Although there are restrictions on admission and the situation was such that the spectators could not make a voice, Cerezo showed an intensive attack at the end of the game, supported by clapping around the back of the home goal, but one point was far. However, it was Koji Toriumi who was sent in place of Tiago in the 88th minute to break through such a frustrating development. In the 89th minute, CK was bounced off once, but Toriumi headed to Yusuke Maruhashi's cross, which he picked up again, and scored a priceless tie goal. Cerezo attacked to the end with the aim of reversing after they smiled, centering on the uniform number 24, who had done a feat of J1's first goal in his J1 debut match. They regrettably could not score the second goal, but the one winning point that they grabbed by bouncing back the first half of the inferiority with the power of the whole team including the player substitution will surely lead to the following games in this season. After the match, Manager Levir Culpi, Toriumi and Sakamoto all mentioned the supporters' support. The dramatic tie goal at the last minute was also a blow invited by a supporter who is also called the "12th player".