Sunday, 29 May 2011

ACL Osaka Derby did it really happen? Here's the evidence!!! Woohoo!!!

Gamba Suita 0-1 Cerezo Osaka. It was our first win for years against Gamba and perhaps (I was told) ever at Bampaku. Glorious, absolutely glorious. One of the happiest 90+ minutes I've ever had. Please enjoy the pictures from 24/5, an amazing day for everyone involved. We're in the draw for the quarter finals! Actually we're the only team from Japan left. Credit goes to Culpi for this win, his tactics and substitutions were spot on. For one day only the usually inconspicuos Daisuke Takahashi became a pink and navy god and the over confident Gamba players, fans, mascot etc. were so distraught after the defender's 90th minute strike it was truly as special as football gets if you support the only team from Osaka City. Woohoo!!!
We came, we saw, we won. 

   Winners                                               Losers    


Monday, 23 May 2011

Cerezo 3-3 Kawasaki Frontale in J1....ACL Osaka Derby next game

At Kincho Stadium (7pm on a Friday meant an attendance of less than 8000?)
We were down 0-2 at half time and up until that point were poor, our keeper let a soft goal in for the first but to be fair to Jin-Hyeon he made up for that with a couple of good saves later.
Frontale go in front, kit made by Puma so they looked a bit like Spurs, confusing (for me).
Cerezo got a fortunate, in my (even as a fan) opinion, goal from a corner. This was followed by a very good finish from our main goalscoring hope this season, Pimpao. Then Frontale, who played well, got in front again.
Cerezo 2-3 Frontale but we didn't give up
At this point we started to string together some attacks and had a few decent chances culminating in our injury time equaliser. We just about deserved the point, still worried that we can't pick up three points at home, or even be winning at home at some point during 90 minutes. Still that's football and the feel good factor of rescuing something from a game we looked like losing makes up for another Jekyll and Hyde performance. Yet another bigger worry is our next game, Osaka derby, away, to Gamba. This round of the ACL will be just one game, it's winner takes all. The winning team go through to the two-legged quarter finals.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Cerezo 4-0 Shandong Luneng followed by 1-1 away to Urawa Reds

They beat us in China but we were great in Osaka. We could have scored more, but again for some reason Shandong didn't turn up at all in Osaka. A great night for us, Shandong went down to 10 men, deservedly, they were as physical as the rules of the game would allow. We had so many chances and a good spread of goalscorers. Most importantly we got through to face...Gamba in the next round.

I4 in the rain

Shandong (or random Chinese?) supporters

A little wet and very happy

This game was followed by a trip to Urawa Reds where we drew but had 14 shots on goal and looked better in J1 than we have so far, still no three points though. Both goals were good, Kiyotake with a great finish after a one-two with Pimpao. In one of the better supported and therefore intimidating atmospheres in the J-League it was a good result for us despite the missed chances.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Injury time equalisers

Well, Spurs did lose to Blackpool away earlier this season but still, we had a chance to close the gap on Man City and didn't take it. Gomes from great to goof in the space of a few minutes and we were behind despite playing pretty well from a penalty. Defoe earned us a point in the dying minutes but it's been a poor set of results for us recently despite patches of playing really well, quite simply more goals needed...also starting to lose patience with Gomes but Redknapp remains a big fan, 1-1 the final score.
What's this? It looks like Defoe's in Cerezo colours for some reason, why? Where did this come from? Very odd.
At home to Vegalta Sendai (click the name to find out where the name Vegalta comes from, interesting) and the same result 1-1. This time Komatsu Rui earned us a point in injury time. It was only in the last few minutes we looked urgent and went for it. Again some worrying signs, the ref got some stick but it was masking over another average performance. A fair result, Sendai fans were great as usual with a fine repertoire of songs. It looks like Pimpao will score at least one amazingly spectacular goal this season, he seems to try for something special but at the moment all Cerezo need is 3 points please! Crunch time in the ACL next with the visit of Shandong Luneng on Tuesday, a draw or a win will do, back to Nagai Stadium for this one.
Komatsu, not wearing a Spurs kit, but he's our Peter Crouch, give him a chance Culpi!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Arema 0-4 Cerezo

On a horrible pitch Cerezo looked really good in Indonesia, Inui got a couple following goals from Kiyotake and Pimpao. All of the goals featured some pretty slick passing and build up play. I don't know what happened to Arema, the team just didn't turn up and there was a huge gulf in class between the teams this time around.
We now have two home games in four days. Vegalta Sendai in the J-League will be a good test to see if we keep our confidence (Inui in particular) after an impressive performance. Vegalta of course is the team worst affected by the earthquake and there will a show of support from our fans with banners and memorial scarves.
Vegalta have started strongly this year and sit top of the table after four matches. Star player? Osaka-born captain Yong-Gi Ryang who plays for North Korea can provide and score goals if given the chance. It's a little worrying as our last performance at home (especially the first half) was awful against Albirex Niigata before Inui earned us point. It could be another frustrating night at Kincho Stadium. Midweek we have the crucial game against Shandong in the ACL where a win or draw will see us through to the next round.

C'mon linesman!

Insert Brazilian goalkeeper joke here.
On to Spurs, well on our way to blowing our chances of Champions League football next season. Although two non-goals by Chelsea weren't helpful we shouldn't be in the position of now worrying whether Liverpool can grab 5th and the Europa League spot by the end of the season. We play Blackpool at the Lane which will be on J-Sports Plus for viewers in Japan.