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2017.7.18

Shimizu S-Pulse 2-0 Gamba Osaka

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Gamba Osaka travelled to Shimizu S-Pulse's picturesque stadium, where the home team were celebrating their 25th birthday, and handed them a present of three points. Nothing went right for the away team today, while the home team managed a couple of goals to take the win in front of their adoring fans.

S-Pulse took the lead in fortunate circumstances/due to dire marking (delete as applicable, or read as both) when an inswinging corner skimmed off the top of Kanu's head and bounced in off Ko Matsubara's knee at the back post. Yet another illustration of why you need a defender on the back post!

It was 2-0 to the men in orange before half time as Masaaki Higashiguchi failed to get a hand to a bouncing ball on the right of his six yard area. The ball was headed back across the now unguarded goal and then nodded home by Shoma Kamata. 2-0 at the break.

Ryo Hatsuse and Yasuhito Endo were replaced by Hiroki Fujiharu and Shun Nagasawa at half time and Gamba came out looking for goals. Nagasawa - former S-Pulse member, of course - forced a save out of the 'keeper in the 51st minute, and almost got in on the rebound but blasted wide.

Eight minutes later the other substitute, Fujiharu, broke free down the left wing and sent a low hard cross in that Hiroto Goya first-timed wide from the edge of the area. Minutes later it was Jin Izumisawa's turn to be foiled by Yuji Rokutan in the home net as Gamba pressed for the goals that would bring them back into the match.

Shu Kurata was next in the queue to test the goalkeeper, his 20-yard blast being parried, the Gamba captain being taken down by a defender's wild lunge as he went for the rebound, but no penalty kick even considered. The story of the day for Gamba Osaka. Best forgotten, and into the J1 summer break with an unlucky loss.


Team - Higashiguchi, Oh, Miura, Fabio, Hatsuse (Fujiharu, 46), Ideguchi, Endo (Nagasawa, 46), Fujimoto, Kurata, Izumisawa (Ademilson, 72), Goya