GAMBA OSAKA
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2018.4.28

Gamba Osaka 1-0 Cerezo Osaka

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Gamba Osaka came out of the Osaka Derby with the scalp of their city rivals but, more importantly, with three points. A penalty kick by Hwang Ui-jo was enough to win the game but it could have been more than just the single goal for the home team in a game marred by a sickening 11th minute collision between Gamba captain Genta Muira and goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi. The Gamba number 1, amazingly, picked himself up to make a save before collapsing to the ground again and eventually being replaced after extended treatment. It was a relief to see him walking away as opposed to be stretchered off.

As Gamba settled back into their rhythm after losing their 'keeper they almost took the lead on the stroke of 25 minutes as Hwang saw his header from a Shu Kurata cross desperate palmed away by Cerezo 'keeper Kim Jin-Hyeon. Hwang was in the action again in the 40th minute as he took the ball between two defenders looking for space for the shot. He was brought down and converted the OK to give Gamba a half time 1-0 lead.

After the break the home continued to press and look for goals - never tempted to sit back to protect a vital lead - and in the 55th minute it seemed Jungo Fujimoto had doubled Gamba's lead when he saw his header from a Hiroki Fujiharu cross palmed against the post by the 'keeper, then trickle along the line before the desperate goalkeeper got his gloves on the ball on the goal line!

With four minutes to go, again Gamba really should have scored when Hwang finished off a move with a side-footed volley that beat the 'keeper but also beat the post. It should be again noted that, despite the narrow lead, and the position the team is in, manager Levir Culpi was not afraid to use youngsters and even brought on attacking substitutes with time running out, as Nakamura replaced Endo with about 10 minutes left! A fine performance and something to build on, as well the bragging rights of Osaka Football until the next time!


Team - Higashiguchi (Hayashi,16), Oh, Miura, Fabio, Fujiharu, Matheus, Endo (Nakamura, 81), Fujimoto (Yonekura, 63), Kurata, Takae, Hwang

Goal: HWANG Ui-jo, 41'

Attendance: 35,242