East Asia Japan

Mbappe-Less PSG Stunned by Kagawa-Inspired Cerezo in Osaka

A Paris Saint-Germain side without Kylian Mbappe were handed a shock defeat by J.League 1 side Cerezo Osaka, with the men of pink edging out the Parisians 3-2 in Friday’s friendly match at the Nagai Stadium thanks to a Shinji Kagawa winner.

With superstar Mbappe on the radars of both Real Madrid and Al-Hilal following his refusal to renew his contract, PSG have made the decision to leave the Frenchman behind in Paris as they embarked on their pre-season tour of Asia.

The absence of Mbappe clearly affected Luis Enrique’s men, who were unable to break through Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr side in a 0-0 draw at Osaka on July 25th before succumbing to Cerezo three days later.

PSG had actually taken the lead first in the 17th minute through Hugo Ekitike’s close-ranged strike, only for former Avispa Fukuoka man Jordy Croux to draw things level five minutes later after he had taken advantage of some poor PSG defending.

Vitinha restored PSG’s lead in the 49th minute, before Cerezo once again drew level in the 67th minute, this time with a Ryo Watanabe ball being blasted into Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal by Sota Kitano.

Former Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United star Kagawa then fired home Cerezo’s winner in the 79th minute, taking advantage of a Haruki Arai ball to fire off a curler that went beyond the reaches of Donnarumma.

No further goals were scored as Cerezo managed to hung onto their lead and claim themselves a famous victory.

Newly-appointed PSG boss Enrique will surely have plenty of food for thought from this match as he and his team look forward to their next friendly, taking on Inter Milan at the National Stadium in Tokyo on August 1st. Cerezo, on the other hand, resume their domestic campaign with an Emperor’s Cup fourth round game against Shonan Bellmare at the Yodoko Sakura Stadium on August 2nd.