J1 vs Gamba Osaka: Match Report

Riku Matsuda scored the final point! "Kogiku Cerezo" got off to a good start with the victory of the Osaka derby, which was active in offense and defense.


For a new Manager Kogiku Akio, who took office the day after the previous match, the Meiji Yasuda J1 League Section 26 against Shonan Bellmare, it was the first game to play in this section against Gamba Osaka. Cerezo Osaka showed dynamic plays in offense and defense. The shot scored by Riku Matsuda in the 51st minute became the final point, and the new departure was decorated with victory.

Regarding the Osaka Derby becoming the first game, Manager Kogiku said at the press conference the day before, "I feel a deep connection. The best opponent to get off to a good start. I am very excited." The preparation period for the game was as short as two days, but he expressed a disciplined soccer in offensive and defensive. The match progressed at Cerezo's pace from the start, as they brought the ball to the shot with the third move after two FWs of Adam Taggart and Mutsuki Kato held the ball. To Gamba’s two FWs of Leandro Pereira and Tiago Alves, CB combination of Ayumu Seko and Ryuya Nishio firmly corresponded.

Cerezo made a good start, but an accident occurred in the 12th minute. Hiroshi Kiyotake was forced to be replaced for being injured when his right foot was caught by an opponent in competition for the ball. Hiroto Yamada entered the left side MF instead. Although it was an emergency, he calmly entered the game and played a role in both offense and defense. In the 24th minute, Cerezo had the first scoring chance. In this match, Kato, who contributed not only to receive the pass at the front but also to the defense from the front line, cut the pass of the opponent DF and launched the counterattack. Taggart who came out to Kato's pass made a shot but unfortunately it hit the post. Also in the additional time of the first half, Yamada left the cross of Sakamoto, and Taggart had another chance, but the shot was slightly out of the frame.

With the momentum of the first half, Cerezo succeeded in scoring the long-awaited opener as soon as the second half started. From the throw-in on the left side of the deep opposite half, Yusuke Maruhashi, Yamada, Maruhashi and Taggart connected the pass, and finally Riku Matsuda received Maruhashi’s pass and shot boldly from an exquisite trap. It flew to the best course that was “only here”, just between the stretched hand of GK Masaaki Higashiguchi and the post, and Riku Matsuda immediately went to the bench. He had a strong hug with Manager Kogiku.

In the 63rd minute, Kato, who came out to Yamada's pass, shot from 1-on-1 with the GK, but it was slightly offside and no goal. Jun Nishikawa was sent in the pitch in the 65th minute, and immediately after, he made a chance from the press, and Nishio released a regrettable header from CK in the 67th minute.

At the last stage of the game, it became the development to be attacked by Gamba who put a lot of energy to win sending Patric, Takashi Usami, and Yosuke Ideguchi as the substitutes at the same time. The pressure of the opponent increased, and Patric and Usami took the side and Cerezo had some pinches, but they also stretched their body in front of the goal and avoided conceding the goal. In the 84th minute, Cerezo also changed three members at the same time, and in the additional time in the second half, Yoshito Okubo got a big chance from Toshiyuki Takagi’s cross. They were not able to score the additional points, but in the end they spent a lot of time closing the match.

At the moment when the whistle of the end rang, a circle of joy was born centered on Manager Kogiku, and Riku Matsuda, who scored the final point of the great achievement, said "It’s awesome (laughs)", and his smile bursted. After the match, "Not only the players, but all the staff worked really hard toward this match. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the players and staff. "Manager Kogiku said. "Kogiku Cerezo" started in the best form of winning the Osaka derby.