Review: Cerezo Osaka 2-0 Avispa Fukuoka (J1 MD23)

2 goals from the opponent, who has the fewest points given in J1. Achieve a clean sheet for the first time in seven league games, and comfortably win in offense and defense.


The Meiji Yasuda J1 League resumed after a 2-week break. This was the last game of July. Cerezo Osaka welcomed Avispa Fukuoka to their home Yodokou Sakura Stadium and challenged the Section 23 of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League. The starting lineup was changed for two players from the previous section. Ryosuke Yamanaka returned from suspension and entered left SB, and Koji Toriumi was at a corner of CB.

Cerezo took possession from the beginning and went on the offensive, and in the 5th minute succeeded in scoring the opener from the FK, which Mutsuki Kato got due to receiving a foul in the front line. It was Matej Jonic who matched Yamanaka's sharp kick with his left foot. He dived in from behind and made a header with perfect timing. Auspiciously after stealing the opener from Fukuoka, who had kept a clean sheet in four consecutive official games with solid defense until this section, they got another scoring chance in the 17th minute. This time, Yamanaka raised a sharp cross in attack, Hiroto Yamada matched it with the right timing, but the header flew in front of GK Takumi Nagaishi. In the middle of the first half, although Fukuoka took possession for a while, “We were carefully defending not to concede a goal and aiming for the chance to counterattack” (Tokuma Suzuki), then they turned to be offensive from around the 30th minute. In the 40th minute, Yamada got a scoring chance again for a header from Suzuki’s FK, but the shot flew out of the frame. In the additional time of the first half, Kato and Yamada connected a pass from a throw-in, and at the end Seiya Maikuma threw a shot, but it was blocked by Nagaishi. Cerezo missed the opportunity to add another point, but they managed to finish the first half without any danger, and they went on the offensive from the beginning of the second half as well.

They quickly switched from offense to defense, stole the ball from a high position, and connected it to their second attack, and then made a scoring chance in the 52nd minute. Hiroaki Okuno bounced back the opponent's goal kick with his head, and Yamada also flicked with his head, and Kato came out and brought it to one-on-one with the GK. It was a perfect chance to add another point, but the shot went over the frame and could not be finished. Immediately after, Fukuoka almost broke the center, but the DFs quickly surrounded and did not let the opponents shot. In the 59th minute, when Fukuoka made three simultaneous substitutions to bring in an attacking player, Cerezo made their first substitution. On behalf of Yamada, Satoki Uejo entered one corner of two FWs, then Uejo did a great job.

In the 71st minute, Koji Toriumi bounced back the opponent GK’s kick with a header, and Maikuma caught it at the high position, and Hirotaka Tameda overlapped on the left side. Tameda received a pass from Maikuma and raised a cross with his right foot, then Uejo caught the GK’s punching ball and shot with his left foot. The shot “aiming at the course rather than kicking hard” (Uejo) brilliantly was scored, and Cerezo marked the second goal that decided the result of the match. In the final stages, Fukuoka had some opportunities for set pieces in quick succession, but Adam Taggart, who participated from the middle, and Matej Jonic cleared them. Even in the final scene when Fukuoka approached just in front of the goal, Matej Jonic blocked and did not allow the opponents to score the goal. Cerezo, who actively made first moves on dealing with crosses and collecting the second balls, and also surpassed Fukuoka on the intensity in offensive and defensive, achieved a clean sheet for the first time in seven league games since the match against Shonan Bellmare in Section 16. It was a victory to gain the momentum for being in the top three of the league, and also for the first match of the quarter-finals of J.League YBC Levain Cup that will be held in four days.