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2017.12.5

F.C. Tokyo 0-0 Gamba Osaka

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Gamba Osaka visited the capital for their final game of a disappointing 2017 season, to take on F.C. Tokyo - a team that has probably had an even worse season in the under-performing stakes, and plenty of off-field trouble rumoured, too. The way team were still suffering from a slew of injuries - hence starting with Yasuyuki Konno at centre back and Ryo Hatsuse in midfield, for example, and this season can probably not end soon enough for this squad as they look to rebuild and go for glory in 2018 under new manager Levir Culpi.

This was a dour game indeed, between two teams who seemed to want to be elsewhere. Highlights - if that is the right word - will show not a single shot on target from either team in the 1st half and probably the biggest moment of the game came just short of the hour mark when the retiring Naohiro Ishikawa was replaced - the end to a fine career marred by injuries.

There was finally some action with a quarter of an hour to go as Masaaki Higashiguchi was finally called into action, making not one save, but two, as he pounced on a follow-up shot while getting kicked in the head by the over-exuberant Keisuke Nagai!

Gamba finally put together a slick passing move that began in the own half with minutes to go in the game. Yasuhito Endo and Yosuke Ideguchi exchanged passes before splitting the defence and the cross was knocked back for substitute Hiroto Goya to half volley from outside the area, but the 'keeper was equal to it.

F.C. Tokyo's subs also then got in on the act then as 16-year-old Takefusa Kubo sent in the best shot of the match, saved well by Higashiguchi, and then Yoshito Okubo had a half chance but his header went over and the game ended 0-0, like it was always going to!


Team - Higashiguchi, Oh, Miura, Konno, Fujiharu, Ideguchi, Endo, Hatsuse, Takagi (Hwang, 58), Kurata, Nagasawa (Goya, 81)