Cerezo stun Marinos late on for thrilling draw

Cerezo stun Marinos late on for thrilling draw

Cerezo Osaka slumped a bit last season, falling to 12th place, but they had an opportunity to prove they were ready to jump back up with their first match of the 2022 season and they delivered. The Sakura got a 90th-minute equalizer from Hiroshi Kiyotake to earn a 2-2 draw at expected title contender Yokohama F·Marinos and start off the year with a bang.

Ryosuke Shindo put Cerezo in front with a great header just before halftime, but Marinos stormed back after the break to take the lead. Anderson Lopes led the Marinos sturge, first making a great run then delivering a cross for Teruhito Nakagawa to tap in before scoring a goal of his own.

Trailing in the waning minutes, Cerezo looked set to take a loss, but a corner kick provided their way back in. Kiyotake leapt high to meet the ball in and headed it into the back of the net, earning the Sakura a thrilling draw.

Marinos will feel as if they should have gotten more. They enter the season expected to be a top challenger for the title and this match was at home, but they were not able to get the job done. Their defense faltered and Marcos Júnior had a penalty kick saved that could have been the difference. Meanwhile, Cerezo are walking away with not just a point but a statement that they could be primed to compete at the top of the table again.