J1 vs Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo: Match Report

Fought for the goal until the end though could not win in a row against Sapporo. The defeat that leads to the next matches.

This section, Meiji Yasuda J1 League Section 28, was a rematch with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo after a two days interval. Cerezo Osaka had changed four starters from the previous section. Takashi Inui played the first starting lineup after joining and put the captain mark, and Riki Matsuda, who scored in two consecutive official games, entered one of the forwards, and Yusuke Maruhashi returned to the left side back.

Similar to the battle that took place in away stadium three days ago, Cerezo had a long defensive time because Sapporo connected passes from the start. Starting with a pinch that came in the 2nd minute after the beginning, Sapporo approached the goal again and again, but as in the previous section, Cerezo’s defense team firmly surpassed and did not allow the opponent to score. Among them, GK Kim Jin Hyeon showed a big presence. In the 27th minute, he blocked Takuro Kaneko’s shot at a close distance at Sapporo's scoring chance, and also in the 39th minute, he showed a big save with his right hand to Daiki Suga’s middle shot which was a difficult trajectory by changing the course for hitting DF. In the first half, they were not able to shoot in front of the opponent's tight defense, but in the inferior development, they managed to finish without conceding any goals.

In contrast to the first half, when they were on the defensive, the number of times Inui received the ball increased, and they got a rhythm in the attack. In the 51st minute, Mutsuki Kato, who took the back from Riki Matsuda's pass, brought it in and shot. Unfortunately, it was out of the frame, but they made the first chance in this match. And in the 56th minute, Inui received a pass from Kim Jin Hyeon and fed a pass behind the DF. Riki Matsuda who came out was dropped by the opponent and got FK in a perfect position. The kicker was Maruhashi. The sharp FK with his left foot hit the wall and headed to the goal, and it hit the crossbar and then dropped straight down. The ball bounced in a subtle position where it was difficult to see whether it was over the goal line or not, but the judgement was no goal. Cerezo unfortunately missed the chance to score the opener. In the 64th minute, Hiroto Yamada and Yoshito Okubo entered the pitch and strengthened the offensive. And in the 68th minute, Okubo entered the area in front of the goal from connecting the pass, but was not able to finish shooting. Cerezo wanted to push towards the goal with that momentum, but when they gave Sapporo an FK in the 73rd minute, Douglas Oliveira scored at the end from the flow of a loose ball where Suga's kick hit the wall. Two minutes later as well, the depressed Cerezo conceded another goal after the left side was broken. They passed the flow of the game to Sapporo.

Still, the onslaught started from here. In the 80th minute, Jun Nishikawa replaced Kida and increased the number of attacks by leaving Riki Harakawa as an anchor. In the 84th minute, Ayumu Seko, Nishikawa, and Okubo connected the pass, and finally Yamada who received Okubo's pass shot, but unfortunately it hit the crossbar directly. In the additional time of the second half, Motohiko Nakajima who entered as substitution, Yamada, and Nishikawa approached the goal in quick succession, and Cerezo attacked to the end, but the match ended 0-2 as it was. The consecutive wins in the league match stopped at 2, and the first home victory in the Kogiku management was carried over. Even so, as Inui said after the match, "Next, there will be ACL soon, and we will play it at home again. We want to win there and be happy at home together," the team already has started to look ahead. They switch their mind to the AFC Champions League Round 16 which will be held after a three days interval, and they want to challenge the big match with the best condition to win.