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Review: Kyoto Sanga F.C. 0-1 Cerezo Osaka (J1 MD13)

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First victory of the season against Kyoto. Pay the debt of losing in the Levain Cup match, and obtain three winning points to pursue top teams.

This section was called the "J.League 30th Anniversary Match." Cerezo Osaka boarded Kyoto Sanga F.C. 's home and challenged the Meiji Yasuda J1 League Section 13. The starter was changed for three players from the previous section against Kashima Antlers. Mutsuki Kato was the first in eight games, Jordy Croux was the first in 10 games, and Ryosuke Shindo made his first starting lineup of the season in the league match.

In the early stages, there was the time slot when they were pushed in by Kyoto, but they prevented conceding a goal with Kim Jin Hyeon’s good save and Koji Toriumi’s block. On the offensive side, they made chances from the right side where Croux was playing. Making use of the lessons learned from the Levain Cup, where they conceded many goals due to receiving the press from the high front line, in this section, Cerezo used not only close passes to feet but also long balls simply to be fed to spaces. They approached the goal by turning over the opponent coming from the front. In the 19th minute, Hirotaka Tameda, who came out to the pass of Ryosuke Yamanaka, broke through the side and created a chance, and then in the 26th minute they succeeded in scoring the opener. Tameda quickly started a high throw-in, and Kato, who caught the ball, broke through the left side and accelerated vertically. After he sent a quick cross to the center, it hit Hiroaki Okuno and opponent DF, and changed the course and hit the post directly. In addition, the rebound hit the head of Kyoto's GK and made it into the goal. For Cerezo, luck was also on their side as they scored the first goal, but Kato said, "Our attitude towards the goal led to the goal."

Cerezo's offensive continued from here. Shinji Kagawa and Okuno picked up the second ball of the kick from Kim Jin Hyeon and connected it to the second attack, quickly deploying to the sides. They approached the goal, attacking behind Kyoto's SB. In the additional time of the first half, they had a good opportunity from a throw-in at a high position again. Seiya Maikuma, who was playing on the right SB in this match, entered the penalty area and shot, but unfortunately it was blocked by the GK.

The second half started with a one-point lead. Kyoto increased the pressure with two substitutes from the beginning. Yuta Toyokawa, who used to play for Cerezo, boldly made shots, but Kim Jin Hyeon did not allow him to break it. In the 49th minute, Cerezo, wanting another point, activated a counterattack from Yamanaka's intercept, and Leo Ceara and Croux connected passes and approached the goal. Then in the 56th minute they got a scoring chance. Shindo, Kagawa, and Maikuma connected passes, and finally Croux sent a cross with his in-swing kick, and it reached Leo Seara on the far side. However, the slammed header went slightly off target and it did not become the second goal. In the 62nd minute, Kyoto introduced their trump card, Patric. Kyoto started to use the thick attack, hitting crosses to a tall FW and picking up the second ball. In the 78th minute in such a development, Manager Akio Kogiku replaced Kato with Ryuya Nishio. He also changed the system to [5-4-1] and increased the number of men inside to repel the opponent's power play. Cerezo's defensive line fell backward slightly towards the end of the game, but in the 81st minute, the GK made a series of good saves, and in the 83rd minute, Nishio saved the goal with a cover. After that, the defensive team centering on three backs formed by Shindo, Nishio, and Toriumi, and Kim Jin Hyeon firmly shut out Kyoto's attacks without a pinch. They defended one point in the first half and counted their sixth win of the season.

On the day before the match, Manager Kogiku said, “Duels, battles, and runs are the strong part of Kyoto, but it is important to surpass them”, and truly they did not lose duels, and achieved a clean sheet. In addition, to make a quick vertical attack with the system change to two FWs, and also to start Kato and Croux, who were active in the practice match against Vissel Kobe held on the day after the previous section. It was a victory that demonstrated what they had prepared for this section. The next match, which will again be an away match, will be against Shonan Bellmare. They would like to accumulate the winning points with a consecutive win, and to reduce the gap to the top teams.

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