Wednesday, 29 April 2015

J2 Away day finishes Kamatamare Sanuki 1 - 3 Cerezo Osaka

This game was over after 15 minutes. I spent the rest of the match swatting away some silly insects which reminded me that this is J2. As did the local flavour of things and the need to get a bus to the stadium. Anyway I remembered the last time we were in J2. So good to see Kusukami doing what he can surely do very well (in J2) after seeing flashes of his skill for the last two seasons. Will he keep his place though? Kazuki Ganaha scored the goal of the game for Sanuki after being teed up beautifully by Hotaru Yamaguchi (he played in the last World Cup for Japan). I was one of the few from Osaka not to sample the famous udon of which the "Kamatama" version appears on the club crest.

How far away is that? A short but steep walk to get to Marugame Castle which looks like it has a mustache, and glasses. 
Close to the Boy's Festival so the carp streamers were out on display
A Cerezo fan scratches his head as he realises it wasn't that far away, just very a small castle surrounded by some impressive stone walls.
Not a bad view from the castle although one of our group commented that the area on the right out of picture looks like Sakai City which if you know of it is no compliment. 
Marugame Mascots, this is Japan (in J2)
Ikkaku was the top ranked restaurant on Tripadvisor in this area. Marugame is also famous for chicken as well as Sanuki Udon. I found out on my 5 hour train journey that this place is a chain and has a shop in Shinsaibashi, the heart of Osaka. 
The Udon didn't make the cut for this poster of famous things in Marugame.
This mascot is working hard judging by the sweat/grease/oil dripping from his (bone-in) chicken leg head. The other more important banner behind and to the left could well be advertising a game between the New Zealand and Japan women's teams but I got distracted by the chicken bone header.   
Marugame Stadium
A nice stand there but...
...the grassy knolls behind the goals served to remind us all it was in J2

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Cerezo 1 - 2 Thespa Kusatsu Gunma

Second loss at home in a row (in J2). A great attendance of 17212 but it must be said lots of freebie tickets for various Osaka kids teams who despite their youthfulness must have realised there are more problems than answers for Paulo Autuori at the moment. Forlan's early goal only served to infuriate as we once again looked like the team of last season that consistently struggled against lower division opposition in the Emperor's Cup. Now we are in the lower division things have evened out. We still can't defend set pieces for toffee.

Very little power from the team, lots of it from I4, absolutely no glory for anyone in Pink.
At the time we wondered how many fans made the trip, now, if you like, you can count how many did and added to the huge attendance (in J2).

Bemused Paulo Autuori, let's hope we don't see this look too many times this season. The seats that were first used when Man United visited still bear the original stadium name before yet more money flooded in our direction and we ended J2.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Oh Dear. Cerezo Osaka 0-2 Zweigen Kanazawa

Zweigen Kanazawa didn't exist ten years ago but it didn't take them long to figure out that if they kept calm and played football, beyond the hype (in J2), we are more than beatable this year. Once they realised that for brief moments they looked like vintage Barcelona for short spells, we were that bad. Mesmerised by a team able to string more than a few passes together. Still we were treated to Sato's beautiful goal and then they were treated to a soft penalty given as a parting gift from Maruhashi to Kanazawa with love. What next (in J2)?

Just bad timing with this picture, there must be millions of better pictures of Forlan playing for Cerezo...taken by other people.
Kanazawa fans expectant after some nice spells and a wonder strike
Despite the best efforts of behind the goal flag waving this went in
Did Puma ask for a refund due to poor product placement?

Saturday, 4 April 2015

JEF United Chiba 4 - 4 Cerezo Osaka

This was a proper old skool result and match for us with a very fortunate equaliser at the end, was it a goal?

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Cerezo Osaka 2 - 0 Yokohama FC

This really felt like an exhibition game, whether I'm still getting used to Sunday matches or seeing 48 year old Kazu Miura being warmly applauded by our supporters for doing the simplest of things it was an odd game. No tackles of note, no real passion or drive and no distinct pattern of play. Our star players failed to dominate this game and King Kazu didn't look his age at all. Forlan missed a penalty but goals from Hasegawa and Pablo Felipe mean another listless performance will soon be forgotten. Shame because on paper it looked like a really attack-minded team. We are now in 3rd place (in J2). We face the early league leaders next.

Enough people turned up today (14518) to make the appearance of the big flag possible
Physio 1: Did you remember to bring the bandages? Physio 2: I'm sure I put them in there. Physio 1: The king is waiting.
Looks worse than it was
This was Autuori's main pose today as we were pretty shoddy for most of the game
Huge respect for the Yokohama FC fans who made the trip down