Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) head coach Luis Enrique was positive about his team’s performance in a friendly despite coming from behind to lose.
PSG came from behind to defeat Cerezo Osaka 2-3 in a pre-season friendly at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in Osaka, Japan, on Monday (Aug. 28).
PSG traveled to Japan for the summer 2023 preseason as part of its Asian tour. Scheduled to play two friendlies in Osaka, Japan, PSG drew 0-0 in the first match against Al Nasr (Saudi Arabia), where Cristiano Ronaldo plays, on May 25.
After the goalless draw against Al Nasr, PSG took on Japanese J-League club Cerezo Osaka in search of their first win of the Asian tour, but were unable to capitalize on an early goal to end their final game in Osaka with a victory.
PSG took the lead through 17-year-old midfielder Warren Zaire Emery in the 17th minute, but a defensive error allowed them to equalize. In the 21st minute, goalkeeper Yang Han-bin, who joined Cerezo Osaka from FC Seoul last winter, knocked the ball behind him as two PSG defenders overlapped, allowing Jordy Crooks to collect the ball, dribble in alone and finish with his left foot to equalize.
PSG regained the lead four minutes into the second half through Vitinha, but another lapse in defense led to the equalizer. In the 11th minute of the second half, defender Luca Hernandez, a new signing this summer, lost the ball under intense pressure from Ryo Watanabe during a buildup at the back.
Watanabe regains possession and immediately tries to cross into the penalty box. Sota Kakano met the cross and rattled the net with a strong left-footed shot to bring the game back into balance.
Cerezo Osaka pushed forward and scored the game-winning goal in the 34th minute. After winning the ball with strong forward pressure, midfielder Shinji Kagawa, formerly of Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, scored with a stunning right-footed curling shot.
PSG played without Brazilian superstar Neymar and newcomer Lee Kang-in on the day, but defensive faltering prevented them from claiming their first win of the Asian tour. Lee, who was substituted in the 43rd minute of the first preseason match against Le Havre at the club’s training ground, the PSG Campus, on Sept. 22 with a thigh strain, was on the bench alongside Neymar in the match against Al Nasr, but was not used.
Although it was a friendly, the result was somewhat disappointing as PSG, one of the best clubs in the world, bowed out to Cerezo Osaka, but Enrique was positive about the performance, saying there were “more positives than negatives”.
“We knew there would be a clear difference between the two teams in terms of fitness,” Enrique said in his post-match interview, “It’s a shame because we had chances to win, but the five goals today are all our responsibility.” 메이저놀이터
“I’m convinced that to play beautiful soccer you need a game structure where you have a lot of chances to possess the ball, but the players also have to make decisions,” he added.