Review: Cerezo Osaka 0-2 Kyoto Sanga F.C. (Levain Cup Group Stage 4th Sec.)
Despite repeated attacks, one point is far, and they are not able to take revenge on Kyoto. Hoping for progress from the group stage in the remaining two games.
The J.League YBC Levain Cup group stage Section 4 against Kyoto Sanga F.C. after a three-day interval from the latest league match. Cerezo Osaka's starting lineup was changed only for two players from the league game. Satoki Uejo entered the left wing of [4-3-3], Sota Kitano entered the right wing, and the remaining 9 players continued the same position from the league match. Hirotaka Tameda, who injured his left shoulder in the Section 7 of J1 against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, also returned to the bench.
Cerezo went on the offensive at the beginning of this match, to make use of the lessons learned from the previous match, in which they conceded 3 goals in 21 minutes including the first goal in the 6th minute. In the 5th minute, Sota Kitano had a scoring chance from Ryosuke Yamanaka’s cross, and after that, they also made chances centering on Shinji Kagawa. In the 19th minute, Kagawa, Leo Ceara and Kitano connected passes and broke through the right side, and Kitano made a switch back in the penalty area and shot at the end. However, while they were struggling to make a finish in either cases, Kyoto took one chance and scored in the 21st minute. The right side was broken through, GK Kim Jin Hyeon could not catch a sharp cross that went up to the near, and it was pushed in by Ryogo Yamasaki. After that, Cerezo took possession, but the flow of the match leaned towards Kyoto. In the 28th and 35th minutes, they faced a decisive pinch, but Kim Jin Hyeon made a good one-on-one save against the opponent and did not allow an additional point.
In the second half, which started with one point behind, Manager Akio Kogiku substituted two players from the beginning. He sent Tameda and Hikaru Nakahara to both wings to replace Uejo and Kitano. Then, attacks from both sides became activated. In the 47th minute, Leo Ceara aimed for a goal with a bicycle kick from Tameda's cross, and in the 54th minute, Nakahara dribbled in to create a chance. In the 55th minute, there was also a scene that invited Kyoto's own goal from the short CK. In the 57th minute, Manager Kogiku substituted Mutsuki Kato for Riki Harakawa, and changed the system to [4-4-2], in which Kagawa became defensive MF, and Leo Ceara and Kato made vertical relational attacking FWs. They formed an aggressive shift, aiming for a tie and then a reversal. In the 64th minute, Nakahara reacted to Yamanaka’s cross on the far side and had a scoring chance, but his header flew to the front of the GK. In the 72nd minute, Kyoto changed their system to five-back DFs, when they made the substitutions. They came to hold off both sides of Cerezo, but despite that, Cerezo managed to break open. In the 81st minute, Kagawa and Riku Matsuda connected passes, and Tameda had a scoring chance, but the shot was blocked by a DF.
Cerezo attacked again and again, but the one point was far. Then, in the 84th minute, from the FK that they gave at the angle of 45-degree to the right, Kyoto directly scored it to the near side, as their additional goal. It was a painful second goal, but Cerezo continued to attack until the end, like Kato's mid-range shot in the 89th minute, and Ryosuke Shindo's header from Yamanaka's cross in the additional time of the second half. However, they could not shake Kyoto's goal net, and the time was up. For Cerezo, who lost 0-4 in the 3rd section two weeks ago in the away stadium, this section was a match with a strong sense of “revenge match”.
Only victory was required to progress from the group stage, but the result was a "consecutive loss" that was too regrettable. However, Group E is in contention, and the winning point difference with the leader is only 3 points. Depending on the results of the remaining two matches, Cerezo still has a chance of finishing to win the group stage at the top of the table. They do the best for the further maturing of the team and working on overcoming issues, and challenge the remaining two matches of the group stage.