Review: Gamba Osaka 1-2 Cerezo Osaka (J1 MD22)

Achieve "Osaka Derby Double" for the first time in 23 years. With a splendid reversal, win "a historic victory that will be handed down" (Manager Kogiku).


This section was the last of the 5 consecutive official games. Cerezo Osaka boarded the home of Gamba Osaka and faced the Meiji Yasuda J1 League Section 22. Starting lineup was changed from the latest Emperor's Cup Round 16 for 8 players. Ryuya Nishio wore the captain’s armband, and they challenged the "Osaka Derby" for the fourth time this season.

At the beginning, Cerezo were struggling to take the attacking rhythm due to being pushed in by Gamba who used the long-ball many times in the offensive. While they were having difficulty in handling Gamba's new force, Musashi Suzuki, then in the 17th minute, they conceded an opener goal from a CK. However, after the water break in the first half, Cerezo dominated the game. Gamba, who scored the opener, started to pull down the defensive line, and Tokuma Suzuki successfully received the ball and made a rhythm, scattering the pass to the left and right. In the 27th minute, Kakeru Funaki entered the deep area with Hiroaki Okuno and fed a cross to the minus side. Tokuma Suzuki's shot went over the crossbar, but this was Cerezo's first shot.

Cerezo carried the ball to the side and created chances from the cross, against Gamba who reinforced the defensive for the inside. In the 34th minute, Hiroto Yamada headed to Riku Matsuda's cross, and in the 42nd and the 43rd minute, Mutsuki Kato headed to Riku Matsuda's cross in a row, making the scoring chance. Both of them met a good save by GK Masaaki Higashiguchi and could not shake the goal net, but "We were able to carry out our game plan after the water break of the first half" (Manager Akio Kogiku). The first half finished while Cerezo were gradually approaching the opponent's goal.

In the second half, they received the commander's encouragement, "Believe in ourselves and continue fighting". Cerezo caught up to the tie as soon as it started. In the 52nd minute, Hirotaka Tameda received a vertical pass from Kim Jin Hyeon, who participated in the build-up, and carried it dribbling with Kato as one-two. He directly sent the return to Hiroto Yamada on the front line, and Yamada, who came out to the behind, turned to the front from the skillful trap and calmly scored one-on-one with the GK. Cerezo, who gained momentum with the fourth point of the season by a uniform number 34 since the match against Kawasaki Frontale in Section 6, attacked from here by further raising the offensive gear.

In the 67th minute, Funaki exchanged passes in front of the goal at a good tempo, entered inside and made a critical shot. Two minutes before that, three players were substituted at the same time in order “to convey the message of winning and attacking" (Manager Kogiku). From here, it was a see-saw development, and Cerezo had several pinches but proceeded with the match without allowing Gamba a winning goal, and then a dramatic drama awaited in the 90th minute.

After Funaki, who cut the opponent's pass at a deep position, carefully connected it to Jean Patric, Jean Patric peeled off the opponent with Bruno Mendes as one-two and speeded up at once. Then he ran up at once to the vacant space, where Satoki Uejo and Sota Kitano made by running into the space to attract the DFs, and made a shot with his right foot. The shot flew to a splendid course that GK could not reach and shook the net.

Cerezo succeeded in reversing with the “golazo” of a uniform number 26, who looked it back by himself as “my best goal ever in my carrier”. They continued to attack until the end, as Uejo and Kitano boldly shot in the additional time in the second half. They won "a historic victory that will be handed down" (Manager Kogiku), and also achieved the "double" of "Osaka Derby" for the first time in 23 years. It was an unforgettable night for the club.