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Monday, 21 April 2008

Cerezo Struggle to Down Cellar Dwellers

Osaka eventually manage to scrape past J2 newcomers Kumamoto, scoring late in the game to "earn" all three points. Despite looking the batter team for most of the game, Cerezo found it hard to create clear-cut chances against a solid, organized Roasso defense.

This was a scrappy game, especially in midfield, with Osaka failing to make their technical superiority count. As it was, Kumamoto could easily have taken the lead after seven minutes when Nakayama was put through on goal. Fortunately for the shocking pinks, Yamamoto was equal to the task of beating away the shot. Thereafter, Roasso struggled to create many clear chances but occasionally threatened when Takahashi and Nakayama were able to find space.

It was the lack of ideas and quality from the home team that was most worrying to see. The only players to show any class were youngsters Kagawa and Kakitani, and although both showed promise they were not able to bring to life a fairly dull game. Cerezo only showed any urgency to win the game once two more youngsters Sakemoto and Shiratani were introduced in the second half. Indeed it was Shiratani who headed across goal to give Geremano the simple task of nodding home the barely deserved winner in the 84th minute.

Cerezo Osaka:
Hiromasa Yamamoto
Kazuya Maeda, Kenjiro Ezoe, Ryohei Niwa, Noboru Nakayama (Noriyuki Sakemoto)
Ale, Geramano, Yoichiro Kakitani (Kenji Haneda), Shinji Kagawa
Rui Komatsu, Yasuhito Morishima (Kento Shiratani)

Roasso Kumamoto:
Hiroki Kobayashi
Kazuya Kawabata, Atsushi Ichimura, Daisuke Yazawa, Kenichi Uemura
Takeshi Yamaguchi, Cha JI Ho (Tetsuhiro Kina), Shohei Yamamoto, Tomoaki Komorida (Masaaki Nishimori)
Yutaka Takahashi (Yoshio Kitagawa), Satoshi Nakayama

While Kumamoto will struggle to escape bottom position this year, the experience and skills of former Japan international Uemura and the on-loan "Naniwa-no-Gon" Nakayama may prove decisive against fellow strugglers. As for Cerezo, the only positives they can take from this game is that they managed to get the three points and promising performances from youngsters Kagawa and Kakitani. However, it is hard to see them making a quick return to J1 based on this scrappy game.

Other J2 results last weekend:
FC Gifu 2-3 Yokohama FC
Ehime FC 1-1 Vegalta Sendai
TheSpa Kusatsu 1-1 Montedio Yamagata
Avispa Fukuoka 2-0 Sagan Tosu
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-2 Ventforet Kofu
Tokushima Vortis 2-0 Mito Hollyhock

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