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2021.10.14

Cerezo Osaka 0-1 Gamba Osaka (Levain Cup 1st leg)

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Gamba Osaka went into the away left of this Levain Cup quarter final with injuries handicapping their selection - as has been the case all season - and even brought on Hiroto Yamami for a substitute appearance late in the game and the kid made the difference, giving Gamba a well-deserved away victory to bring home for the 2nd leg, with his late winner!

The away team went into this game with a cagey attitude, perhaps looking for the clean sheet draw, or hoping to snatch an away goal, which they did, and the tactics proved successful for Masanobu Matsunami's team. They soaked up midfield pressure in the 1st half, allowing distant shots to be collected by Masaaki Higashiguchi in goal and at the break, 0-0 was the score.

The 2nd half continued with Gamba ensuring that their hosts stayed well away from goal but, just before the hour mark, they did head up field with Kosuke Onose and Yosuke Ideguchi combining to give the latter a shooting chance that was saved low at the post for a corner.

Yamami made his appearance in the 67th minute and almost scored immediately, fighting off a defender to find space and then - with the defenders and goalkeeper expecting a cross, almost sneaked a goal with a sneaky shot. But he did make his mark with minutes to go, taking a pass with his back to goal, his first touch setting up the shot and beating a defender all-at-once, and what a goal it was, as he caressed the ball into the top corner with his left foot to deservedly win the game for his team.

And so, a 1-0 lead, with the away goal going into the 2nd leg at Panasonic Stadium.

Team - Higashiguchi, Shoji, Suganuma, Ideguchi, Yajima (Yamamoto, 78), Onose (Yanagisawa, 67), Kurokawa, Ono (Kurata, 78), Usami (Yamami, 67), Patric (Leandro Pereira, 78)

Scorer: Hiroto YAMAMI 89'