In the first training session under Jorge Pautasso at Melgar, the players and the coaching staff met in the center of the pitch, embraced and prayed. From all of those who were in that meeting of arms, one stood out for his stature: the 164 centimeters of Hideyoshi Arakaki. 2018 had been tough for the attacking midfielder. He had only started three games and had just a single goal to his name. But he responded and improved. The coach gave him a place in his first team and positioned him to the left. The response, in the CONMEBOL Libertadores, was very good: in fact, Melgar's second goal is likely to be one of the best in Phase 3 of the Copa.
He had already warned Caracas before he got on the scoresheet. His first shot, just minutes before the goal, looked for the far post but just went wide. The second had a different outcome: he rifled an unstoppable shot into the top corner and the game belonged to Melgar. Arakaki is Peruvian. His grandparents were Japanese but his parents were born and raised in Peru. He arrived in 2017 as a young man - he's still 21 years old now. He came with an impressive resume.His talent was discovered early on and, for that reason, he went through the youth ranks at Peru, from the U15 to the U20 squads.
He arrived from San Martín de Porres: "I had an offer from Real Garcilaso but I decided to choose Melgar, which is a big team." Arakaki is right-handed, but he often plays from the left. He has a great in one-on-one situations. His key is the low centre of gravity he has, particularly for a tall man, as he shapes to go down the left before quickly switching to his stronger right foot. From there he's capable of shooting. That skill set allowed the Peruvians to take a huge step towards the Group Stages in rainy Arequipa.
👏👏 WHAT A FINISH! Arakaki doubled @MelgarOficial's lead over @Caracas_FC with this unstoppable shot from outside the area.pic.twitter.com/ftc97PnhVI — CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) February 20, 2019