Half time statistics showed incredibly biased figures for Gamba, with all but two of their players showing an "average position" in the opposing half, with six players spending their time in the top third of the field. But the Cerezo defence held out, with lines of four and, at times, all 11 players within 20 yards of their goal. Effective, and the scoreline proved it.
Those half time statistics also showed 64% possession for the away team, and 10 goal attempts registered, to three for Cerezo - who scored from two of them. Cerezo did not register a single corner in the half and the passing rate of the teams showed 394 passes for Gamba (with an 88% completion rate) and just 169 passes for the home team (and only a 75% completion). They key to this half - and to a lot of Gamba's season, though - was the fact that they dominated yet another game (or half a game, so far!) but did not convert chances, and allowed goals from nowhere to put them behind. So much potential in this team, but they have not yet gained the experience to become the team of winners that they could be.
The 2nd half saw much of the same, with another defensive collapse allowing a goal out of, quite literally nothing, yet Gamba did not allow their collective hearts to drop and, with the introduction of Patric and Ademilson - rested for the start of the match, for some reason - saw even more action in the opposing defensive third of the field. The historically-better and more successful half of Osaka continued looking for goals right to the end and a run from Ademilson finally produced a reward in additional time, the cross heading for Patric before the home goalkeeper deflected the ball over his own line for Gamba's only strike of the match.
The full time stats again showed how much Gamba did with the ball - except score goals! Still close to 60% possession, seven corners to Cerezo's none, and 19 shots rained in on goal! 14 of those shots were deemed on target, giving Kim Jin-hyeon - and his whole defence - collective MVP awards! In the passing department Gamba hit 685 overall, with a completion rate of 88%. The time is surely coming when something is done with this dominance!
The away fans out-sung their hosts, they never stopped making noise and were there in huge numbers. They should be congratulated on their performance and not give up! Their time will come, with the systems that this team is using, times will change and this experience is going to be used well in the near future.
Team - Higashiguchi, Takao, Miura, Kim, Fujiharu (Concha, 76), Endo, Ideguchi, Kurata (Patric, 58), Susaeta, Usami, Watanabe (Ademilson, 58)
Goal - OWN GOAL 90+2