• X
  • LINE
  • Facebook

Review: FC Machida Zelvia 2-2 Cerezo Osaka (Levain Cup Play-off Round 2nd leg)

  • TEAM

Despite fighting hard until the final whistle, the 2nd leg ended in a draw and Cerezo failed to advance to the Prime Round.

After losing the 1st leg 1-3 at home, Cerezo needed to win the 2nd leg by three goals to win by 90 minutes, or at least they needed two goals to take the game to extra time. The starting lineup was changed to eight players from the 1st leg, with most of them having played in the league matches.

Cerezo was looking to score goals while keeping the game scoreless, but four minutes into the game, Na Sang Ho, who had also scored in the 1st leg, found the back of the net from a corner kick. Cerezo also threatened the goal with shots from Leo Ceara and Vitor Bueno, but in the 21st minute, another corner kick resulted in a conceded goal. Cerezo now needed five goals to win in 90 minutes and four goals to take the game into extra time. However, as Hayato Okuda recalled after the game, "We lost the first two goals, and there was a general feeling of disappointment, but everyone soon recovered and we were able to play aggressively,” and the team fought back by possessing the ball and using passes to the feet and behind the defense, and in the 26th minute, they pulled one goal back through an own goal. After goalkeeper Kim Jin Hyeon's kick was dropped by Ceara with his back to the opposing defender, Ceara again reacted to a pass from Lucas Fernandes via Bueno. The ball was cleared by the opposing defender and headed towards goal. With morale on the rise, Cerezo scored a second goal ten minutes later. Capixaba won the ball high up the field, and after a short counterattack, Ceara, Fernandes, and Okuda combined to close the gap on the opposition goal, with Satoki Uejo calmly finishing off a brilliant one-touch pass from Bueno behind him. The first goal of the season was a welcome boost for the number 7, who had been playing as a volante when defending and moving up front when attacking. The first half ended 2-2, but with Bueno saying "we had the ball well and were able to create some chances," the equalizer in the first half raised expectations for the second half.

In the second half, Cerezo pushed their opponents even harder than in the first half and continued to play in the opposition's half. In the 53rd minute, Bueno fired a powerful shot with his left foot, and in the 60th minute, Uejo took a free kick and fired a powerful shot on goal, but it was saved by the goalkeeper. From the resulting corner kick, Fernandes' kick was competed with by Ceara, and Bueno received it with a shot from the far side, but it was blocked by the defender. In the 64th minute, Hiroshi Kiyotake and Sota Kitano replaced Bueno and Uejo.

From this point on, more central attacks were initiated, and in the 72nd minute a chance presented itself. After a cross from Okuda, Fernandes fired an excellent shot into the top right corner of the net, but once again the goalkeeper was able to keep the ball out of the net. In the second half, the team was mostly on the offensive, and although the goal was threatened several times by counterattacks, no goals were scored and the game went into the final minutes. Reiya Sakata, Hirotaka Tameda and Masaya Shibayama were brought on and they tried to score the third goal with a combination of fine passes and side attacks. In the 87th minute, a corner kick created an opportunity. Ceara headed in Shibayama's cross, but the goalkeeper blocked it again and the ball hit the crossbar. Our goalkeeper Kim Jin Hyeon also made a good save in the 90+2nd minute, and in the 90+4th minute Cerezo had one last chance to win the game. Ceara headed in Okuda's cross, but the ball went just over the bar. The match ended 2-2. The team was unable to come back from behind in the 1st leg, and was eliminated in the Play-off Round of this season's Levain Cup.

Under Kogiku's watch, the team finished runner-up in the Levain Cup for two consecutive seasons in 2021 and 2022. Having lost in the finals both times, the competition is "a tournament that means a lot to us," said Kogiku, but Machida, the league leaders, showed their strength in the cup as well. With the total score of the two games being decisive, it was undeniable that "the weight of the three goals conceded in the 1st leg had a lasting effect on us" (Uejo), and the fact that the team had to concede two early goals in the must-win 2nd leg left them with challenges. Nevertheless, as the manager praised his players, saying, "None of them gave up until the very end," the fact that all players, including starters and substitutes, fought for the win without losing heart will have a positive effect on the rest of the season. The team will face J LEASE FC in the second round of the Emperor's Cup in two days to get off to a good start.

TOP > NEWS > Review: FC Machida Zelvia 2-2 Cerezo Osaka (Levain Cup Play-off Round 2nd leg)