Review: Cerezo Osaka 2-1 Kawasaki Frontale (J1 MD19)

A reversal victory to grab with the team's all force. Achieve the double against "Champion" Kawasaki.


Five consecutive official games that started from this section. The first of them, the Section 19 of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League against Kawasaki Frontale at home. Cerezo Osaka changed two starting members from the previous section. Kakeru Funaki, who scored his first J1 goal in the previous section, was in the left SB, and Hiroto Yamada, who was the starter since the match against Nagoya Grampus in Section 13, was in the one of two FWs.

At the beginning, Cerezo pressed vigorously from the front. With a voice from the bench saying, "Don't step back," they stole the ball at high position as much as possible and quickly turned to attack. However, after Kawasaki made a scoring chance in the 4th minute, the Cerezo’s defensive line gradually went backward. To Kawasaki who used the short pass many times and connected passes at a good tempo, they were forced to be defensive. Even so, as Hiroaki Okuno looked back, "We had some time to be pushed in because we could not turn on the defensive switch well, but we could defend in front of the goal without being impatient", they managed to prevent conceding a goal while Kawasaki took possession. In the 22nd and the 28th minute, GK Kim Jin Hyeon had good saves. However, in the 36th minute, Japan national team CB Shogo Taniguchi scored from the CK, and they allowed Kawasaki the opener.

For Cerezo, it was a difficult development to suffer a goal while the possession was taken by the opponents, but "the team did not fall apart there, and gradually revived from there" (Manager Akio Kogiku), and finished the first half. Just before the end, they were not able to score a goal in a row of CKs, but the lessons they got here came to life in the second half. In the second half, Kawasaki attacked at the beginning, but after they surpassed this, Cerezo also increased the number of times they entered the opposition half. The FW and side MF aimed for the space and simply put the ball in there, which made the opponent’s defensive line step back, and then Kawasaki, who had started to get tired in the second half, committed more fouls, and Cerezo got more FKs. Then, in the 59th minute, Funaki headed to Tokuma Suzuki's FK and equalized. "There was an instruction that I am ‘too much in’ a penalty area at half-time. I think the kickers also had some difficult parts to kick because we were too much in. In the second half, I was conscious of entering, seeing Tokuma-kun’s tempo or Tokuma-kun’s move itself”, said Funaki after the match. After the half-time, he slightly adjusted the timing between the kickers and the players to receive the ball inside. This correction led to a score.

As the same as the previous section against Shimizu S-Pulse, the stadium got more excited and the momentum for the reversal increased. Then in the 79th minute, Seiya Maikuma received a long feed from Funaki, and Adam Taggart, who participated in the middle, shot. It was unfortunately blocked by the GK here, but the smell of the goal increased. Although there were Kawasaki’s chances made in the 79th, 83rd, and 89th minute, they avoided conceding a goal with GK Kim Jin Hyeon’s good saves. Then, a dramatic reversal goal was born in the additional time in the second half. Hikaru Nakahara, who participated from the middle, got a foul and FK. It was Jean Patric, who participated in the middle, that matched the ball on the near side kicked by Suzuki. He headed in and screwed it into the goal. Following Funaki in the previous section, it was his first J1 goal for Jean Patric. "I'm really happy to be able to score and win in front of the home supporters," he expressed his joy. Cerezo won the game in a come-from-behind victory with 2-1 as it was. Following the Section 6 which they won 4-1, they achieved the double in the season from Kawasaki. It was a difficult situation with many injured players, but Okuno said, "I think the result of everyone's preparations for the match on a daily basis led to today's victory." With "The victory from the champion that grabbed with the team’s all force” (Manager Kogiku), they have increased the winning points to 30 and moved up to 5th place.