GAMBA OSAKA
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  • (株)東洋ゴム工業
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2018.6.2

Gamba Osaka 0-0 Urawa Reds

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In this 15th leg of the 2018 J.League season Gamba Osaka were held to a scoreless draw at home by Urawa Reds. In front of a healthy 25,000-plus crowd at Panasonic Stadium the home team racked up the goal attempts but could not find a way through the Reds defence.

With the game just minutes old Shu Kurata's clever back heel on the left touchline found space for Hiroki Fujiharu, who crossed for Shun Nagasawa to try to set up Jungo Fujimoto, but the ball fell just behind him and his attempt to scoop the ball goalward from a bad angle didn't trouble the 'keeper, but the move certainly encouraged the home fans. Nagasawa himself was next to get on the end of a chance but, again, the ball fell just behind the ideal spot and his weak header was easy to collect for Shusaku Nishikawa.

Masaaki Higashiguchi in the Gamba goal was finally called on to earn his salary nine minutes before the break, blocking a point-blank range shot from Shinzo Koroki to keep the scores level. Fujimoto then had another chance at the other end - getting on the end of another move as he showed his value all over the field - but his volley fell straight into the arms of Nishikawa, while the flag was also up for offside, but again, the movement was there and the home fans appreciated it.

Six minutes into the 2nd half it was the story of the day as another Gamba move carved open the defence only for the final pass to be a foot behind the optimal position and Kurata saw his shot - after he angled his body brilliantly to compensate for the pass - just over the bar.

As the time swiftly closed in on 90 minutes Nagasawa latched onto a low right wing cross to flick the ball goalward but the 'keeper was quick to react and deny Gamba their best chance of the game and Reds held on for a point, while Gamba went into the hiatus with a decent performance but only one point to show for their efforts.

With the next J1 match taking place on July 18th - after the Russia 2018 World Cup break - away against league leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima, it's down to manager Levir Culpi and his players to continue the improvement and start to move up the table. There is a lot to do in the J1 break.


team - Higashiguchi, Yonekura, Miura, Fabio, Fujiharu, Matheus, Endo, Fujimoto, Kurata, Nagasawa, Hwang (Meshino, 71)