Koki Yonekura was deployed as a right midfielder today and it proved to be a master stroke as the away team tended to push the ball to the left of the field only for Yonekura and Oh Jaesuk, with the help of Jungo Fujimoto, to clean up with ease time and time again. Yonekura was also an asset going forward, creating space, chances and getting shots in. In fact it was the Gamba number 14 who had the best chance of the half as he took a pass in the area, turned his defender with one movement and chipped the out-rushing 'keeper, only to see his shot cleared by a defender.
Shu Kurata finally broke the deadlock with a superb strike in the 68th minute, after a nice advantage played by the referee he moved forward, switched to his left foot and shot form 25 yards into the far corner. 1-0 Gamba. Well-deserved.
Hwang Ui-jo made it 2-0 with eight minutes to go after he moved onto a Kurata pass, moved his body one way, moved the ball the other and curled a right foot shot past the 'keeper from the edge of the area.
Matheus then sealed the points with his first goal for Gamba, his left foot bullet from 25 yards unstoppable. 3-0. Three points. Gamba march on!
It should be noted that, even with a lead - a narrow one at that - and needing the win badly, manager Levir Culpi still made attacking substitutes, and both teenagers, as Keito Nakamura and Ryotaro Meshino came on in the second half of the game. Keep bringing the kids through Mr. Culpi! They'll do well in the ACL in 2019!
Team - Hayashi, Oh, Miura, Fabio, Fujiharu, Matheus, Endo, Yonekura (Meshino, 82), Fujimoto (Nakamura, 74), Kurata, Hwang