Saturday, 25 May 2013

We finish top of our Nabisco Cup group! Cerezo 2 - 1 Kashima Antlers 1

A very unexpected goal, he showed composure and a stunning finish in the 2nd minute. Who am I talking about? Edno! Congratulations on his first goal and actually looking like a footballer. Culpi dropping him for a few games seems to have done wonders although I would still like to see Sugimoto start for the time being. Edno was subbed before the end of the match as his reverted to his usual anonymous footballer role. Antlers, who started the day at the top of the standings, then equalised but that man Kakitani popped up again to ensure our passage to the league cup quarter finals in pole position. To be fair he did more than just pop up, he ran with the ball from our half and as the Antler's players closed in smacked in the winner from just outside the box.

J1 Kashiwa Reysol 1 - 3 Cerezo Osaka May 18th

We conceded first after another spell of choosing not to tackle anyone. Yamaguchi equalised with a free-kick that the Reysol keeper misjudged badly. Kakitani wrapped things up for us adding to his impressive tally this season with a brace that keeps Cerezo hovering around the ACL spots. Have we found consistency at last?

Cerezo Osaka 2 - 1 Sagan Tosu Nabisco Cup May 15th

A poorly attended Wednesday week night cup match despite the promise of a place in the quarter finals after this victory. Sagan Tosu scored in the first minute but this actually gave us something to chase and play for from the start so we did well. Maruhashi equalised with a great free-kick and teenage sensation Minamio grabbed the winner to leave us second in our group.
Nicest fans in Japan, the poor attendance revealed that away fans in Kincho now have seats instead of a grassy knoll

Our view of the Maruhashi free-kick, he's the one just under the beer person's nose

Kawasaki Frontale 2 - 2 Cerezo Osaka

Highlights of the match in J1 on May 11th with goals for Cerezo from Edamura and Simplicio. Ex-Cerezo favourite Okubo got a brace for Frontale and while his father was ill and sadly passed away the next day.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Cerezo Osaka 2 - 2 Urawa Reds

Both teams were evenly matched and a draw was always on the cards but it was by far the most entertaining game this season. Golden week, discount tickets and Urawa Reds helped to fill Nagai Stadium with 32,378 people enjoying the match. The Reds supporters didn't cause any problems this time except for their usual uncourteous (for Japanese football fans) behaviour. Sugimoto's strike and all round play means Edno will be on the bench for the foreseeable future. As usual at home after taking the lead we always look like letting the other team back into the game. Also our policy of not tackling or defending corners properly allowed Urawa to take the lead. Yamaguchi equalised and after that both he and Simplicio came close with long range efforts. Very positive signs from this game although our lack of width is worrying especially for Sugimoto who would thrive on some decent crosses. Hopefully playing away at Kawasaki Frontale will give us a chance to build on this performance and cement our position in the top half of the table.

Football fans and/or wannabe hooligans

They're not scarves BTW they're called "towel mufflers"

Keeping things in order

Monday, 6 May 2013

Shonan Bellmare 0 - 3 Cerezo Osaka

Again Edno didn't start and this time didn't come off the bench either so I'm starting to wonder whether we night be loaning him out to a J2 team this season (he himself is on loan to us from the Mexican club Tigres but we've done similar things before). But on to more positive things we scored 3 great team efforts with Kakitani grabbing two to put him on 6 league goals this campaign ( 6 more than Edno...sorry!) and Yamaguchi getting the other. Sugimoto looked really comfortable and was on the same wavelength as his team-mates as he was involved in all of the goals. Next up this Golden Week Urawa Reds visit Nagai Stadium and we're all hoping their fans are on their best behaviour after Shimizu.

Amazing 3 - 3 draw at the renamed Noevir Stadium in Kobe

Kobe play in J2 this year which means no away trip with Cerezo to their lovely stadium and my usual pre-match trip to the Hobgoblin pub, Chinatown and the German beer and currywurst shop. As J2 games are held on Sunday (when an English breakfast is 999yen) I went down and saw a marvellous comeback from Fagiano Okayama as they scored 3 in the space of 10 minutes with the last coming in injury time to leave Kobe still leading J2 but their fans slightly miffed (there were boos at the final whistle). Fagiano is the Italian for pheasant in case you were wondering about Okayama's name. Noevir is a make-up company as the stadium has it's third sponsorship change in as many years. This is one that builds on the great women's team INAC Kobe Lionessa which features many of the national team players. Fans that made the trip were given a free sample of face cream. Kobe will welcome Gamba Suita at the Noevir for their Golden Week Kansai Derby.

The flag waving didn't put off the penalty taker although finally the Okayama fans went home happy

The "Renewal Open" Kincho Stadium witnesses a goalless draw against Oita Trinita

Oita Trinita currently languish at the bottom of J1 but left with a point despite hitting the woodwork in quick succession. To be fair to Cerezo they did manage a pretty decent 16 shots this game whilst always looking susceptible to an Oita counter. Edno was dropped today for the first time but looked lively when brought on. As usual our brightest spark throughout was Kakitani who seems likely to leave this summer with Dortmund being touted as one possible destination. This was the first game this season in the slightly revamped Kincho Stadium with a larger standing section behind the goal which our fans celebrated by chipping in together to pay almost a million yen for a new banner.
If you wear the away colours in this section you can't watch the game, new rules this season.
Locals show their support

Trinita supporters gave it their all to help lift their team

Cerezo Osaka 1 - 2 Omiya Ardija

League leaders Omiya left with 3 points as they scored very early and very late on with our only goal coming from Kakitani. Shin Kanazawa scored from just past the halfway line after spotting Kim Jin-Hyeon off his line about 22 seconds into the game. An expected result as we are still trying to work out our best system (perhaps something with a striker who can score would help?) while the squirrels on the other hand are comfortably beating all comers at the moment.

Sitting, or standing in this case, pretty at the top of J1