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BARRY WRITES...  I really should have thought of doing this as soon as highlights became available officially on YouTube a while back. Be...

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Champions of Asia 1-4 S-Pulse

BarryBarry writes:

Gamba Osaka 1-4 S-Pulse
Cho Jae-Jin 71-----------------------------Okazaki 16
--------------------------------------------------Iwashita 56
--------------------------------------------------Edamura 63
--------------------------------------------------Hara 82

Att. 18549


After the bitter disappointment of last week I couldn't help but wonder if, even at three nil, Gamba were going to let us out of Kansai will all three points. I needn't have worried so much. Despite Cho Jae-Jin giving the Asian Champs some hope, we went on to become the first team since Manchester United to put four past Osaka, and at the same time get our league campaign back on track.

Shimizu Dream House rocked to fantastic display from the boys in orange

The scoring was opened at the end of a frantic first 15 minutes with both teams setting their attacking stall out. Okazaki showed his class to grab his eighth of the season by knocking a Johnsen through header over an advancing Matsuyo. He was under intense pressure from Osaka captain Yamaguchi, but held his nerve to make an excellent finish; a classic poacher's goal.

Not too long later, Gamba had the ball in the net, but only after a clear handball. It was just as well, as Kaito was rolling around in the net having prevented a goal direct from an excellent corner kick. Despite Gamba applying long periods of sustained pressure, we managed to get to the end of the first half with the score still 1-0. The difference was Yamamoto back in goal, who is head and shoulders above the shaky Nishibe. He turned 24 today and has a long, bright future ahead of him.

On to the second half, and it was our corner weapon Iwashita who slammed the ball home on the volley to double our lead and send the travelling masses into raptures. Less than ten minutes later Edamura made it three, from another Johnsen assist. With Gamba throwing everything at us, they were left fatally exposed as Edamura made his way out wide left. He made no mistake in smashing it past Matsuyo.

Eight minutes later it was with glorious inevitability that ex-Pulser Cho Jae-Jin should pull one back for the home team. The big man was only brought on in the 58th minute for Lucas, but didn't waste time in getting his eighth of the year. He connected with a pass from Leandro who took time out from flopping around on the floor to create a decent chance.

The nerves many of us were feeling given last week's capitulation only lasted ten minutes. Substitute Hara displayed his deadly finishing having sped behind the hesitant blue and black defender to fire it past Matsuyo. In doing so, he pushed the game beyond any doubt and gave us ten minutes to enjoy our destruction of the reigning Kings of Asia; the first time we've beaten them away in the league since 2001.

We were outshot 18-8, and without Yamamoto's steady hands in goal Gamba would surely have clawed more goals back. However, as time began to run out, the hosts were reduced to increasingly speculative long range efforts which didn't cause us many problems.

It was a fantastically decisive finishing display, and one which can give us confidence going into next week's clash with defending champions Kashima. The Antlers won yet again today and are looking pretty much unstoppable on their march to a third straight title. Come on then, lads - be the first team to knock them off their perch since week two of the season! As for today, I regretted that I wasn't able to make it over to Osaka for this excellent result, but the Dream House put on a great event tonight for a near full house.

It's Urawa in leg one of the cup 1/4 final on Wednesday before Antlers on Saturday. If you've got a moment to catch your breath during all this excitement, don't forget that tickets for the derby (August 22nd) go on general sale next Sunday, July 19th. This game will sell out, so get yours early!

Line Up

GK K. Yamamoto

DF Ichikawa
DF Aoyama
DF Iwashita
DF Arata

MF Paulo
MF Ito
MF Hyodo
MF Edamura

FW Okazaki
FW Johnsen

Subs used:

Hara on for Okazaki (74)
Fujimoto on for Edamura (84)
Honda on for Hyodo (86)

Videos etc

Official pictures can be found here (top row). The report from The Rising Sun, along with those for all other J1 games, can be found here.

Full highlights of a virtuoso performance from our boys in orange, with a special mention for our man in green. Awesome display, Kaito!

Here's also a nice clip of our travelling hundreds who, as always, did us proud. For reasons unknown, we had no band for this game.

And as a bonus feature, here's a video of the Gamba Osaka chairman having to face the music of some seriously unhappy fans:

You don't have to understand Japanese to see he's getting a pretty hard time!


Fuz said...

This entire report backs up everything I have been saying since last season about Kaito, "Goal-Protector" Yamamoto and Yohei "oops-I-forgot-to-practice-catching-because-I-was-at-clown-training" Nishibe.

Harsh but true...