Review: Cerezo Osaka 3-1 Kansai University (Emperor’s Cup 2nd Rd)

From Mutsuki Kato’s opener, 3 goals in the first half at once. Advanced to the third round without allowing “Giant Killing”.

Cerezo Osaka welcomed Kansai University and challenged the second round of the Emperor's Cup at Yodoko Sakura Stadium. Since it was a two days interval from the latest Meiji Yasuda J1 League Section 16 against Shonan Bellmare and they will also have the J.League YBC Levain Cup playoff stage 1st round in three days, the starting lineup was changed for 10 players from the latest league match. All members were replaced except for Koji Toriumi, and the game started mainly with the "sub-group".

At the beginning, Cerezo took possession but the first shot was thrown by Kansai University. After that, Cerezo was not able to catch the pace of the match, but in the 21st minute, they took the lead to break through that atmosphere. Ryosuke Shindo on the right side back fed a long kick to the other side. Kakeru Funaki on the left side back directly sent the pass to the center, and Mutsuki Kato caught it having the opponent’s DF on his back, skilfully dribbled past the opponent who came to tackle, and shot with his left foot. Superbly he scored to the right corner of the goal net. Cerezo, who could be relaxed with this goal, added a point in the 33rd minute. Hirotaka Tameda, who cut the opponent's pass at a high position, carried it dribbling, and Funaki came to overlap and fed a cross, and Bruno Mendes headed it. Cerezo, who took the initiative at once, scored the third point from CK in the 36th minute. Funaki competed for the left foot kick of Hikaru Nakahara in the center and scored with his header.

Cerezo finished the first half with a three-point lead, and Hiroto Yamada took the place of Kato from the start of the second half. Immediately after the start, Hinata Kida boldly shot, but in the 48th minute, the ball was stolen by the opponent from a throw-in on their own half, and the center was broken through and it was scored. The goal was scored by Makoto Nishimura from Cerezo Osaka U-18. Cerezo in the second half was on the defensive against Kansai University, who gained momentum with this score. They had a pinch in the 50th and the 64th minute, but both shots were out of the frame. Then, in the 65th minute, Yamada picked up the mistake of the opponent and got a scoring chance, but the DF who returned blocked him from hitting a shot. In the 82nd minute as well, Satoki Uejo, who cut the opponent's pass, provided a pass to Yamada, and Yamada got a scoring chance, but his shot was blocked by the GK. Cerezo made some chances in the second half, but in the second half, the match progressed at the pace of Kansai University as a whole. Cerezo’s goal was threatened also other than the goal-scoring scene, but with the good save of GK Keisuke Shimizu, they did not allow the opponents’ second goal. They defended the three points in the first half and won 3-1.

Especially in the second half, for Cerezo “A lot of problems came to light" (Manager Akio Kogiku), but it was a harvest that FW team had goals: from Kato, who said, "I am strongly conscious of leaving results in a limited time," and from Bruno Mendes who recovered from injury. The return of Yamada and Uejo, who had left the battlefield due to injury, was also a bright element for the future. As Manager Kogiku praised “The playing attitude with strong will from 0-3 in offensive and in defensive was wonderful”, there were times when they were suffering from Kansai University, but it was a comfortable victory as a score and advanced to the third round.