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2021.7.22

Tampines Rovers 0-2 Gamba Osaka

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Goals from Gamba's Brazilian duo earned all three points for Gamba Osaka in their opening game of the 2021 Asian Champions league campaign.
With Hiroki Fujiharu fit for selection, and Ryu Takao starting on the right of defence, the starting XI finally took on a familiar sight after so many injuries have hampered the efforts of the squad for so long.
Gamba were almost ahead within three minutes of kick off when pressure on the defence forced the interception and Patric's shot was deflected onto the bar and out for a corner. 10 minutes later a move down the left saw a low cross for Takashi Usami to side-foot home, but again, the shot was blocked by a desperate defender.
Kosuke Onose was next to see a chance but was frustrated as his shot bounced off the crossbar... but goal was coming and, finally, in the 26th minute the breakthrough came. Fujiharu was showing how much he had been missed with his creative work on the left and his cross rived nicely for Patric to head down and home to open the scoring.
It took until the half hour mark to see Masaaki Higashiguchi in the Gamba goal forced to make a save, as he stuck out a foot to clear a cross and then got down low to ensure the follow-up was going past his post. 1-0 at the break.
Patric should have added to his tally six minutes into the 2nd half, finding himself unmarked in the six yard box to get on the end of an Onose cross, but somehow not getting his header on target! The big Brazilian number 18 did get the ball in the net 20 minutes later, latching on to a saved Yokuke Ideguchi shot to blast home from close range, but he was judged to have been offside.
Gamba continued to look like they could score again at any moment but were constantly frustrated, with Usami next to be denied, this time by the inside of a post, but the second goal eventually did come, from the head of substitute Leandro Pereira, who deftly flicked home a cross from Shu Kurata to wrap up the points.

Team - Higashiguchi, Takao, Miura, Shoji, Fujiharu (Kurokawa, 82), Ideguchi, Yajima (Okuno, 74), Onose (Ono, 74), Kurata (Wellington Silva, 90+1), Usami, Patric (Leandro Pereira, 82)
Scorers:
PATRIC 26'
Leandro PEREIRA 88'