GAMBA OSAKA
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2021.7.22

Gamba Osaka 8-1 Tampines Rovers

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Gamba Osaka finally hit the goal trail and showed us what these players are capable of, after a difficult time in front of goal in this Asian Champions league campaign, so far. Shuhei Kawasaki was the unexpected star of the how, with a hat trick, while Kazunari Ichimi, Wellington Silva and Patric also got on the score sheet. Eight goals were scored, but the opposition goalkeeper had a fine night, denying more good chances and saving two penalty kicks!!
Gamba patiently created space and chances early on but lacked a little urgency until Shu Kurata, wearing the captain's armband tonight, took a pass on the edge of the area in the 21st minute, flicked the ball up and volleyed home over the 'keeper to open the floodgates, 1-0. Just a few minutes later Kawasaki scored his first of the night, taking a pass and then accelerating past two defenders before beating the goalkeeper with a low shot, 2-0!

Just when it was looking easy, Tampines pulled a freak goal back, a long, deep corner being headed back across the goal and 'keeper Kei Ishikawa seemed to allow Ichimi to go for the ball, but communication was lacking and both players allowed the ball to sneak between them and in, 2-1.
Ichimi made up for his misjudgement minutes later, with Gamba's third goal of the game. Takashi Usami and Kawasaki exchanged passes on the right wing, leaving defenders in their wake, and Kawasaki moved into the area, skipped past another challenge then slipped the ball across to Ichimi who prodded it into the empty net, 3-1 at the half time whistle, although Usami saw a PK saved before the break, the 'keeper also denying Yosuke Ideguchi's follow-up.
It wasn't long into the 2nd half before Gamba added to their tally, Ichimi shooting from the edge of the area, and the goalkeeper's parry falling into space for Kawasaki to latch onto and bury, 4-1. Kawasaki then added to his performance stats by earning a penalty kick as he was fouled, but half time substitute Welington Silva became the second Gamba player of the night to see his PK saved!

Wellington Silva was given the opportunity to make up for his shortcomings in the penalty department when Keisuke Kurokawa slipped the ball through a defenders legs, went to the goal line then dragged the ball back for the Brazilian to side-foot home with aplomb. 75 minutes, 5-1.

Just three minutes later a quick free kick from defence found Patric on the half way line, and he, in turn, slipped the ball through the channel to the onrushing Leandro Pereira - beating the offside trap with ease - who raced at the 'keeper. As the challenge approached, Pereira simply slipped the ball to his side where Patric was following up to blast the ball into an empty net. 6-1.
The goals kept coming as Gamba did not ease up on the pedal and next we saw Kawasaki complete his hat trick with a sublime finish after evading the attentions of three defenders closing in on him. 7-1, 10 minutes to go, but the goals had not finished coming yet.
With three minutes to go to the 90, Patric ran on to a superb through pass from Kurata and drew the goalkeeper off his line, as the Gamba no.18 shaped to cross, the 'keeper looked to block his way and Patric allowed the ball to run on and then stroked the ball in at the empty near post with the goalkeeper looking for the cross. 8-1, game over!

Team - Ishikawa, Sato, Shoji, Kim (Miura, 71), Fukuda (Kurokawa, 62), Ideguchi (Wellington Silva, 46), Yamamoto, Kurata, Kawasaki, Usami (Patric, 62), Ichimi (Leandro Pereira, 77)
Scorers;
Shu KURATA 21'
Shuhei KAWASAKI 25', 53', 80'
Kazanari ICHIMI 28'
Wellington SILVA 75'
PATRIC 78', 87'