J1 vs Avispa Fukuoka: Match Report

Despite Adam Taggart’s long-awaited first goal in the league, they conceded 2 goals from crosses. It was a frustrating end.

Cerezo Osaka got into the home of Avispa Fukuoka and challenged the Meiji Yasuda J1 League Section 24. Two starters had changed from the previous section against Vegalta Sendai. Riku Matsuda returned from suspension, and Naoyuki Fujita was in the starting lineup for the first time in the league match since Section 16 against Kashima Antlers.

The match began like a seesaw game, and it was Cerezo that got the first chance. In the 14th minute, Hiroaki Okuno took the back of the opponent from Fujita’s pass and fed a cross, and Adam Taggart reacted to it on the near side, but unfortunately the shot was out of the frame. In the 18th minute, the right side was broken and Fukuoka had a scoring chance, but GK Kim Jin Hyeon showed a good save. After that, Cerezo increased the ball possession rate, but while they could not break the defense of Fukuoka, they conceded a goal in the 39th minute. When the press to Emil Salomonsson, who made a goal assist at past home game, was loosened, he shot the volley in the center area from the cross, and it flew to where Kim Jin Hyeon could not reach.

However, Cerezo also quickly caught up with the tie in the additional time in the first half. Fujita's long throw was cleared once, but Adam Taggart headed to Fujita's cross who picked up the loose ball. "I feel like I will be able to score soon. I have that atmosphere in myself," as he said before the match, the long-awaited first goal of the league match was born for the number 9.

In the second half as well, Cerezo continued the development to push in at the beginning. In the 58th minute, Okuno took the back from Fujita’s exquisite vertical pass and shot, but it was slightly out of the frame. Kiyotake also shot from the cut-in in the 68th minute, and Riku Matsuda, who participated in the attack, made a sharp shot in the 74th minute, but it was blocked by the GK.

However, on the other hand, there were some scenes where they had pinches from the counterattacks and side attacks of Fukuoka, and the game became a development that could fall in either win. While the next goal could be the trigger to decide the game result, Mutsuki Kato, who participated from the middle of the game, came out to the back and approached the goal in the 79th minute, but he was stopped just before entering the penalty area.

The game went into additional time, and in the 90th + 6th minute, a nightmare moment for Cerezo came. Jordy Croux, who participated from the midway, scored a cross shot, and Cerezo conceded a goal at the last minute. They allowed a winning goal to their opponents, and the match ended as it was. No loss in the official game stopped in 13 games, and 11 games in a row have not been won in the league game. Fujita said, "There is a sense of crisis because the winning point gap to the lower ranks has closed,” but "It is important that everyone is looking in the same direction without being impatient. Of course, we regret today’s defeat, but we have to go forward changing our minds,” he said at the end.

The 13th consecutive official game has just begun. To the Emperor's Cup Round 16 against Sagan Tosu, which will be held after a two days interval, and to the J1 Section 25 against Yokohama FC on the weekend. The rebound mentality is required.