G. Osaka 2-2 S-Pulse
Adriano 15 --------------------Ota 47
Usami 57 ----------------------Omae 50
DF Bosnar (Yellow 80)
FW Takahara (Yellow 62)
Kobayashi on for Iwashita (64)
Ono on for Takahara (64)
Nagai on for Brosque (81)
I've spent Saturday evening at a fellow S-Pulse fan's wedding second party (Congrats, T&S!) so didn't see the game. Decent result away from home though. We got lucky with Omae's freekick to take the lead after a shocking defensive lapse from the home team, but then Usami got equally lucky with his long shot wickedly deflected off (I think Ota's) shin. It sent the ball curving beautifully but annoyingly into the top corner, and Usui had no chance.
The speedy Adriano put Gamba in front from a corner after beating everyone, including a flapping Usui, to the ball. So it was at half time, but we drew level from the unlikely source of Ota. A penetrating cross was swung in from the left which Takahara met with a near perfect volley. Near perfect because it was straight at the keeper. But thanks to the power of the shot, Fujigaya couldn't hope to hold to onto it and the rebound fell out wide to Hiraoka. He nodded it back into the danger zone and Ota was on hand to poke it home.
All told, a point away at the Banpaku is no bad result, and a couple of goals on the road is a positive. Bosnar, who gets some very harsh treatment from the J. League refs, picked up another yellow. I've not seen it, so can't comment on this instance, but he's been very hard done by in the past. The officials see a huge body and, by comparison, little opponent, and call the foul against him. It happens far more than it should.
Wednesday evening we entertain Yamagata at home. Montedio lost at home yesterday and are looking set for a long hard season. Sitting in the relegation spots with only one win to their name we have to be looking for all three points. Can't blolody wait. It feels like an age since I've been up Nihondaira.
The league table is a bit of a mess right now with Reysol top and Sendai and Kobe in the top five while Nagoya and Kashima are in the bottom half. Things will no doubt settle down over the summer. Anyway, three points on Wednesday please, boys!
Selected Comments From Ghotbi
OK, I figure it's time to try my hand at translating. The following comments are from the official match information page having been spoken by Afshin, translated into Japanese and now translated back by me. Bit of an arse about tit way to go about it, but hey ho. Any mistakes are mine. I'm no professional translator. Just hoping to communicate the gist for the English speaking world.
Ghotbi: With four goals, it was a great game for the fans. We can be proud of the way we came back after going behind to a good team like Gamba. We started well, but the first chance we let Gamba have the talented Adriano put them ahead. That goal was a blow to our confidence and it took a little time to get that back.
We started the second half well with two goals from set plays, but Gamba responded with some of their best football, and could equalise. At that point I brought on Ono and Kobayashi to take more control of the game.
Gamba ended really strongly and we were maybe a little fortunate to end the game 2-2. For our young team this was a good result. Gamba Osaka are the best team we've played so far this season. I hope we can can play like this again in our next home game.