Saturday, August 30, 2008

Arrived in Osaka

Went to my first Cerezo match for about 2 years today, and it was GREAT. Cerezo won 3-2, the atmosphere were great and I even got to meet Mr Cerezo, Hiroaki Morishima! Some nice Tokushima-fans also gave me a Tokushima-scarf, so everything was great.
No time for writing match report or uploading pics now, but when i get back from japan there will be several pics etc.

De wa Mata!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Osaka next!

Time for the annual Japan-trip, and this time 16 days will be spent mainly in Osaka. Will try to travel around a bit too, and perhaps even go see a few matches. The football-highlight of the trip will of course be the match between Cerezo and Tokushima on August 30th.

So for anyone that will be attending that match, look out for a lost norwegian gaijin dressed in pink.


R32 - ahead of Roasso - Cerezo

Roasso Kumamoto Cerezo Osaka

Roasso has to do without DF’s Yamaguchi and Kawabata still, but got decent cover now that Cha is back. For Cerezo, there are some injuries, with the biggest loss beng FW Furuhashi. GK Yamamoto and DF Omata is out as well, but they got good cover for both of them. Furuhashi’s replacement is Kaio, and he’s done fairly well in the last 2 matches.
Roasso’s form aren’t too bad, as they are unbeaten for 3 matches and got 2-2-1 on the last 5.They are just 2 points behind Ehime now, and can get ahead of them with a win here. Their home form is quite good too, with 3-1-2 on the last 6. Cerezo finally won again last round, and did that by impressing alot playwise although the score were only 2-1 vs Mito. They looked like the same team that impressed earlier by winning several matches in a row, and might be back on track now. Before that they had 3 straight losses. Their away form is 2-1-3 on the last 6. Both teams won a match each earlier in the season, and in Kumamoto Roasso won 3-2 after a hat-trick from Takahashi.
Cerezo are favorites here as they are a much better team, and have improved form-wise as well lately. They got alot more to play for, and can’t afford to miss here. Roasso got a match-winning striker in Takahashi, whic he showed last match vs Cerezo, and he’s in good form at the moment and could cause trouble again here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

R31 - Solid performance against Mito earns 3 points

Cerezo Osaka Mito Hollyhock 2-1
C: Inui 13’, Komatsu 18’
M: Akahoshi 52’

After 4 matches without a win, Cerezo finally found back to winning ways when they met Mito this round. And they played quite a good match too, constantly pressuring Mito’s defence. New signing Inui scored his first ever goal in a Cerezo-shirt in the 13th minute from close range, after a scramble inside the penalty-box. Just 5 minutes later Inui set up Komatsu for Cerezo’s 2nd goal, when Inui dribbled a few guys before taking a shot that Honam in Mito’s GK only could parry for Komatsu to head it home. Cerezo were in total control the first half, and came to tons of chances. Honma in Mito’s goal did a good job at keeping the score at 0-2, and the finishing of particularly Kaio up front weren’t that good either. Mito’s Takafumi Akahoshi reduced to 1-2 a few minutes into the 2nd half after a mistake in the Cerezo-defence, and the away-team looked much more competitive in the 2nd half. But it was no doubt that Cerezo deserved the win, and they outshot Mito 28-9 in the end.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

R31 - vs Mito preview

Cerezo Osaka Mito Hollyhock
Cerezo had to players injured in the last match, and both were pretty serious too. GK Yamamoto is out for 2 weeks, while DF Omata are probably out for the rest of the season. Yamamoto’s loss isn’t the worst, with Aizawa in back-up. Omata’s loss is a little more serious, but that means the new signing from Kyoto Hirajima will take the left-back position. Certainly not a bad replacement, as Hirajima were a regular for Kyoto earlier this season. Up front Furuhashi are still out, which means another new signing Kaio will take place alongside Komatsu. Kagawa are still in Beijing, and is perhaps the biggest loss of them all. Mito on the other hand, doesn’t have any injury-worries at all and will field their best squad here.

Cerezo are in really poor form, and got 3 straight defeats now and just 4 points from their last 7 matches. No wonder they have fallen to 6th in the table. They got 3 relatively easy matches coming up now though so it’s a good opportunity to get back into it. They are currently the worst home team in the league with just 0-1-5 on the last 6, which is quite surprising considering they were almost unbeatable there in the earlier stages of the season.

For Mito, its been a good period lately, with 4-1-2 on the last 7. That means they are in the run for ta top 10 finish, but it’s still a long way to go. On the last 6 away they got 3-0-3.
All previous meetings gives us 3-1-2, and both teams won a match each earlier this season.
Mito aren’t a bad team, and could very well cause trouble for Cerezo here. Considering how poor Cerezo have fared lately as well, it’s more open that what it seems on paper. Surely Cerezo got enough quality to win it though, and sooner or later they got to start winning again.

R30 - Another loss

S: Ishihara 15’,26’, Careca 80’

Cerezo’s misery doesn’t seem to be having an end, and once again they ended up the losing side for the 3rd consecutive match, and for the 6th time in the last 8. But in difference to most of their other losses recently, they totally deserved to lose this time, as Shonan were by far the best team. Naoki Ishihara bagged a brace early in the match to give Shonan a 2-0 lead. First he headed home a cross from Sato, before picking up a spill-ball after a freekick before hammering it in. Ishihara is really on fire at the moment, and only Hisato Sato have scored more than him this season. Cerezo never really looked like threatening Shonan, and even when they swapped DF Ezoe for FW Kakitani they looked toothless in attack. To complete the misery for Cerezo, their former striker Careca added a 3rd with 10 minutes left to play. Careca were a big disappointment at Cerezo, but when he got the chance to play against them he managed for once to find the net. Shonan took a very deserved win in the end, and outshot Cerezo 13-7.

Friday, August 8, 2008

R30 - tough match vs Shonan

Shonan’s only real problem here is that they have to play without Adiel, who’s arguably their most important player. Without him thet lack the offensive creativeness, and looks weaker.Apart from him though, they can field their best possible lineup. Up front Abe and Ishihara has been scoring goals all season, and although Lincoln has left the club, they don’t look too weakened up front. Careca is brought in from Cerezo, but since Cerezo still owns him, he’s ineligible to play if i understood it right. Cerezo on the other hand, are without 2 of their most important playrs in Furuhashi and Kagawa. Furuhashi got injured last match, and will be out for another 3 weeks. For him ,the season has been a major disappointment, and nowhere near as good as last year. Luckily for Cerezo, Komatsu have been scoring goals regularly, and is the team’s topscorer. Along with Komatsu though will wonderkid Kakitani play, but despite being involved in almost every game and starting most of them he’s yet to score a goal. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Cerezo are struggling that much, with strikers not finding the net. Kagawa are busy with the olympics, and will surely be missed with his creative runs, dribbling skills and passing.

Shonan and Cerezo are tied in 5th with 42 points, but the difference is that Shonan are in decent form and Cerezo not. Shonan got 2-3-0 on their last 5 matches, and atleast manages to avoid defeat. They should win more often though if they want to get promoted. At home Shonan got 3-1-2 on the last 6. Cerezo on the other hand, only got 1-1-5 on the last 7, and has with that fallen several places in the table. They are desperate for a 3-pointer now, as they aim for the 2nd place. Luckily for them they play away, where they got 3-1-2 on the las 6. Their home form lately has been horrendous, so it might be better to regain their form away. All previous meetings gives us 3-1-1, and both matches last season in Bellmare ended with home wins. Cerezo won the first meeting this season though 2-0.
Shonan are naturally favorites due to home-advantage, injury-situation and form. But on paper, Cerezo looks the strongest, and if they were to find their form again they could get a result here. The games they’ve lost recently have all been just a by a single goal, and they’ve always been levelled with the competitors on chances etc. But looking at their results, Shonan should be named as favorites.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lose Lose Lose Lose Lose

First, apologies for poor updating lately...cause of the holidays my time is limited these days, but hopegully i will be able to update more often soon :-)

Cerezo Osaka Yokohama FC 1-2
C: Komatsu 86’

Y: Ikemoto 32’,71’

Over 15 000 had showed up to see Cerezo’s match vs Yokohama, but most of them ended up disappointed as Cerezo once again slipped to a defeat at home. This was their 5th loss in 6 home games, which is nothing else than a catastrophy for a title-contender. Remarkably enough though, they are only 3 points behind 3rd placed Sagan, so they must still be considered one of the favorites for promotion. That is however, if they can get their season back on track.

They didn’t look too bad this match, but sloppy defending saw Yokohama get away with 2 goals. First, Ikemoto met a cross from Ota to make it 1-0 after 32 minutes in what was a good Cerezo-period. Cerezo focused their attacks down the flanks, but it was clear they missed Kagawa’s creativity. The wingers did create chances though, but neither Komatsu or Furuhashi managed to convert them. Actually, Furuhashi got injured in the 1st half, which saw Kakitani enter the field instead. The new signing Kaio made his debut as he came on early in the 2nd half, but unfortunately for Cerezo he couldn’t help them in avoiding a defeat.

Ikemoto were on target again in the 71st minute to score Yokohama’s 2nd goal, and with little time left Cerezo’s chances of points looked slim. Heavy pressure on Yokohama saw them get to some chances though, but the only goal they got came in the 86th minute through Komatsu, who scored his 12th goal this season. Perhaps Cerezo should have deserved more, but in the end it was Yokohama who could celebrated a very long-awaited win. Cerezo had 14 shots to Yokohama’s 12.