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Review: Cerezo Osaka 0-1 Kyoto Sanga F.C. (J1 MD33)

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Cerezo Osaka suffered a 0-1 defeat and failed to win their last home match of the season.

This was the last home match of the season. Cerezo Osaka faced Kyoto Sanga F.C. in the 33rd round of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League. The starting lineup was changed from the previous match as Ryosuke Shindo replaced Seiya Maikuma, who had just returned from the national team, at right back. Hiroshi Kiyotake also returned to the bench for the first time this J1 season.

Cerezo started the game well, but gradually found themselves overmatched by Kyoto's press. In the 6th minute, a pass from their own half was intercepted, and in the 20th minute, they conceded a goal through the left flank. In the 35th minute, Cerezo's build-up from the back line led to a short counterattack, but a shot from a Kyoto striker went wide and the game was saved. Kyoto's attack was stagnant in the first half, failing to get a shot on target, but a crucial opportunity came in stoppage time. Masaya Shibayama's corner was met by Matej Jonjic, but his header was saved by the opposing defense and the equalizer was denied. The first half ended 0-1. Cerezo had to make some changes for the second half.

Akio Kogiku was substituted at the start of the second half. Jordy Croux and Satoki Uejo were replaced by Reiya Sakata and Hiroaki Okuno. Okuno formed a double wing with Shinji Kagawa, and Shibayama moved up front. Sakata moved to the right side of the second line. In the second half, Cerezo began to move the ball into the attacking zone more often, and in the 50th minute, goalkeeper Kim Jin Hyeon quickly moved the ball to the right side, where Shibayama dribbled, cut inside and shot. Shibayama and Sakata, who came on in the second half, continued to spark the attack. And in the 70th minute, the moment finally arrived. Captain Kiyotake, who had struggled with injury this season, entered the fray. In the 77th minute, Ryosuke Yamanaka (who came on in the 75th minute) picked up the ball after Kiyotake's free kick was cleared and unleashed a powerful left-footed shot from inside the box. The shot was right on target, but former Cerezo defender Gu Sung Yun got a fingertip save. A CK from the same spot gave the visitors a great chance to win the game. In the 85th minute, another good chance came from Kiyotake. In the 85th minute, another good chance came from Kiyotake, who broke down the left flank and crossed for Yamanaka to meet Shindo in the far corner, but his header was just wide.

In the second half, Cerezo limited Kyoto to three shots and goalkeeper Kim Jin Hyeon made a great save in the 55th minute to prevent Kyoto from scoring again. Cerezo continued to push towards the end to avoid defeat in their last home match, but time ran out with a goal still too close to call. The match ended with time running out, and Cerezo were unable to give their sell-out crowd a victory. After the match, President Hiroaki Morishima, Captain Kiyotake and Manager Kogiku gave speeches at the final home match ceremony, expressing their gratitude for the support they had received throughout the year and vowing to make great strides in the coming season. The team now begins to prepare for the last game of the season, an away match against Albirex Niigata.

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