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2021.4.18

Sagan Tosu 0-1 Gamba Osaka

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Gamba Osaka gained their first win of the season against the hitherto unbeaten Sagan Tosu, with a fine performance and, yes, their first goal of the season! Takashi Usami showed his class with a right-footed shot across the 'keeper in the 68th minute to seal the points and kick-start the seaosn for Tsuneyasu Miyamoto's men.
The formation was 4-4-2, with Keisuke Kurokawa in the left back position, in the absence of Hiroki Fujiharu, and Yuya Fukuda further forward on the left. Kohei Okuno was given a chance to shine in the middle alongside Yosuke Ideguchi, while Yuki Yamamoto awaited his turn on the bench.
Usami almost opened the scoring in the 11th minute after Ryu Takao intercepted a Sagan Tosu ball around the half-way line, Usami moving forward to unleash a shot from the edge of the area that streaked inches past the post after the goalkeeper got his fingertips to the ball.

Gamba 'keeper Masaaki Higashiguchi then had his chance to prove his worth six minutes later, ensuring a low cross was tipped to safety as a player lunged in, although the play was then flagged for offside. Fukuda and Kurokawa then combined down the left to pierce the defence of the home team and found Kosuke Onose in the area, who saw his goal-bound shot desperately blocked for a corner.
The breakthrough came halfway through the 2nd half, and it was thoroughly deserved, created by the scintillating Fukuda on the left and finished by the right foot of Usami on the right! Sagan Tosu then had their half chances to get back into the game before the final whistle but the defence stood firm, and imperious goalkeeper, Higashiguchi, ensured the three points came home.

Team - Higashiguchi, Takao, Miura, Shoji, Kurokawa, Onose (Ichimi, 90+2), Ideguchi, Okuno, Fukuda (Kawasaki, 75), Patric, Usami (Kurata, 75)
Scorer: Takashi USAMI, 68'