GAMBA OSAKA
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2019.8.15

Vissel Kobe 2-2 Gamba Osaka

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Gamba Osaka traveled to near-neighbours Vissel Kobe - and all their assembled stars - and took the game to their hosts, rolling out a deserved 2-0 lead, which should have been more, before the home team clawed their way back into this match to salvage a point. The away team went ahead as early as the 8th minute after controlling the game with some fine passing and movement up to that point. Ironically, it was a long ball over the top from Shinya Yajima - perfectly controlled and slotted home past the 'keeper by Shu Kurata - that gave Gamba the lead.

Gamba really should have been 2- up just after the half hour when Ademilson broke free on a through ball but his chip over the 'keeper was wide of the goal and the home team defence breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Gamba doubled their lead in the 53rd minute when Ryu Takao made a tackle deep in his own half and quickly slipped the ball to Takashi Usami, playing deep, who took the ball and in turn found Kurata who sprinted off up the field. The goalscorer waited and timed his pass to Patric perfectly for the burly Brazilian to receive, control, round the 'keeper and blast home with his right foot. 2-0!

As the clock ticked over the 64th-minute marl Yasuhito Endo entered the field in place of Patric, to register his 1000th first class match. This total includes J1, J2, various cup competitions and his 152 appearances for the national team. A monumental achievement for Yatto-san!

Gamba should then have added to their lead as Kurata bamboozled defenders on the left side of the area then slipped the ball across where Takao was sliding in at the far post, but he could not direct the ball into the gaping goal. This was to be a turning point as Gamba would rue the missed chances and, from an easily-possible 4-0 scoreline, suddenly the game was drawn!

It was a cruel way indeed to drop two points, though: firstly when Vissel's Kyogo Furuhashi kicked Gamba's Yuya Fukuda and went down - to be fair springing back up and not seemingly looking for the PK - but the referee gave the spot kick. Then to compound the bad fortune, Masaaki Higashiguchi saved Andres Iniesta's attempt, but saw the Spaniard follow up and blast home.

To level the game two Vissel substitutes combined, with Daigo Nishi crossing and Asahi Masuyama heading in at the far post to deny Gamba a deserved win.


Team - Higashiguchi, Takao, Miura, Kim, Onose (Suzuki, 75), Yajima, Fukuda, Kurata, Usami (Meshino, 87), Ademilson, Patric (Endo, 64')


Goals:
Shu KURATA 8'
PATRIC 53'