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Monday, 19 October 2009

J2 on the Rise (Cerezo 3-1 Ehime)

Went off to see Cerezo secure an ever firmer grip on promotion back to J1 against Ehime yesterday. Ehime made a much better impression than expected, and proved just how much the level in J2 is improving. Not only is the standard of football in J2 rising, so are the crowds. This game saw over 9,000 in attendance, including a couple of Aussie's attending their first ever professional football game. They seemed pleasantly surprised by turnout.

As for the game itself, Cerezo fielded a comparatively weak team, but it was still good enough to control much of the game. However, the absence of Kagawa and others meant that all too frequently there promising moves broke down in the last third of the pitch. But, their slick passing moves along with Ehime's more direct approach made for an entertaining game. The visitors looked far from overawed, giving a good account of themselves and looking far from a team languishing in 15th place. Although Cerezo were worthy winners, the 3-1 margin flatters them somewhat and is largely thanks to a generous lineman who failed to call the clearly offside Kagawa as he burst through from midfield.

Cerezo Osaka
Kim Jin Hyeon
Kenji Haneda, Kota Fujimoto, Kazuya Maeda, Noriyuki Sakemoto
Yuji Funayama, Hotaru Yamaguchi (Thiago 56), Naoya Ishigami,
Kento Shiratani (Shinji Kagawa 56), Takuya Kokeguchi
Scorers: Funayama 20, Fujimoto 40, Kagawa 86 (with a little help from the linesman)

Ehime FC
Hiromasa Yamamoto
Eigo Sekine, Yuichi Shibakoya, Alair (THiago 69), Kohei Matsushita
Shuta Nagai, Kazuhito Watanabe, Shuichi Akai, Shigeru Yokotani (Kenta Uchida 88)
Yoshihiro Uchimura (Shunsuke Oyama 82), Dodo
Scorer: Dodo 37

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