SAITAMA – Cerezo Osaka hit Omiya Ardija with a one-two punch from their Olympic arsenal as Hiroshi Kiyotake and Kim Bo Kyung both found the target in a 3-0 win on Saturday.
There was little to separate the two teams after a tight opening period at Nack5 Stadium, but that all changed in the space of two second-half minutes as Olympic team forward Kiyotake struck from the penalty spot before South Korean counterpart Kim doubled Cerezo’s advantage.
Kim added a third in the 67th minute as the visitors threatened to run riot, piling more frustration on an Omiya side that had to wait until late August last season before picking up its first home win, and has now failed to do so in three attempts this term.
“I was in good condition going into the game, and I had an image in my mind that I was going to score,” said Kim, who now has three goals for the season. “So when the chances came, I wasn’t nervous. I was just following the picture that I already had of scoring.
“From around the second half of last season I felt that I should be scoring more goals, so I started taking more shots. That’s something I’m thinking about this season.”
Omiya went into the game on the back of a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Nagoya Grampus in blustery conditions last weekend, but Kiyotake’s opener soon took the wind out of the home side’s sails.
“The second goal came very quickly after the first, and that might have been down to a lack of patience on our part,” said Ardija manager Jun Suzuki. “Now we have to get back to training and turn our thoughts to the next game.”
Both sides were restricted to half-chances in a scrappy opening period, with Cerezo striker Kempes going closest when he forced a fine save out of goalkeeper Takashi Kitano in the 21st minute.
Brazilian compatriot Branquinho somehow contrived to miss the target after good work from Kempes early in the second half, but there was no mistake from Kiyotake when referee Yuichi Nishimura awarded the visitors a penalty in the 52nd minute.
Daisuke Watabe hauled Kiyotake to the ground as Branquinho floated a free kick into the box, and the 22-year-old promptly dusted himself down to dispatch the spot kick past Kitano.
Minutes later, it was two. Kim took advantage of the shock still rippling through the Omiya defense, combining with Kempes to bury a crisp right-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Cerezo then carved Ardija open again for a third in the 67th minute, Branquinho bringing the ball down the middle before sending Kim clear down the right to finish in style.
“We played very well and didn’t give the opposition any real chances today,” said Cerezo manager Sergio Soares. “Our game plan was to press them hard in midfield, win the ball and start off fast breaks, and we did that very well right from the start.
“In the second half we were able to turn our chances into goals, and at the same time we didn’t give them anything and kept our concentration high. It was a comprehensive victory.”
Elsewhere in the J. League, Jubilo Iwata ended Vegalta Sendai’s 100 percent start to the season, but an injury-time goal from Wilson rescued a 2-2 draw for Sendai. The result keeps Vegalta in first place, preventing Jubilo from going top for the first time since June 16, 2004.
Defending champions Kashiwa Reysol shook off their poor start to the season with a 2-0 win over Consadole Sapporo, Nagoya Grampus beat Sagan Tosu 1-0, and Vissel Kobe slumped to their third successive defeat, 1-0 to Shimizu S-Pulse.
Albirex Niigata drew 0-0 with Yokohama F. Marinos, Urawa Reds beat Kashima Antlers 3-1 in a match that featured three goals in the opening five minutes, and Sanfrecce Hiroshima topped Gamba Osaka 4-1.
Kawasaki Frontale host FC Tokyo in Sunday’s only fixture.