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2021.10.20

Gamba Osaka 2-3 Vegalta Sendai

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In a game that Gamba Osaka came from behind twice against Vegalta Sendai - through goals from Shinya Yajima and Patric, they eventually went down to a breakaway goal against the run of play, just when it seems that the home team was coming out on top. The story of the season for Gamba then, with injuries mounting again, and bad luck in front of goal, a home loss was suffered, and almost 5000 fans left disappointed.

The match statistics showed that Gamba racked up around 20 goal attempts, twice as many as their visitors, but could make that advantage count. Patric and Yuji Ono combined in the 10th minute to create one of the first chances of the games, but Ono's shot from the edge of the area was wide, while Vegalta 'keeper Jakub Slowik was busy earning his salary, not least saving a rasper from Yajima just after the half hour mark. But it was the way team that went ahead minutes later, with Cayman Togashi heading home unmarked in the centre of the six-yard box. Sadly, Yajima had made an early substitution entrance as Yuji Ono had to leave the field with yet another injury.

Gamba were back on level terms minutes later, as Hiroki Fujiharu and Takashi Usami combined down the left to make room for Fujiharu's cross. It was half-blocked and reared up at the near post, where Yajima came storming in to deflect it past the goalkeeper from a tight angle. 1-1! It appeared that Gamba were back on top of the game when Togashi went unchallenged to head home a free kick and it was 2-1 to the away team at half time.

Gamba did get back into the game on the hour mark when Patric hit a penalty kick so well that the 'keeper didn't have time to move, and it 2-2. Level terms, again. There was then an incident that took almost five minutes for VAR to decide that a Vegalta player had been offside before a cross had hit the hand of Hiroki Fujiharuin the Gamba defence. It really was quite obvious from first viewing, so the fact that it took so long to make a decision was grating for all.

As the game drew slowly to its conclusion Gamba were looking for the winner, as is their nature, and they were caught out by a quick break that ended with the winning goal, somehow giving their opponents their first win in 12 games.

Team - Higashiguchi, Takao (Yanagisawa, 63), Shoji, Kim, Fujiharu (Wellington Silva, 78), Ideguchi, Kurata (Yamamoto, 78), Onose, Usami, Ono (Yajima, 16), Patric

Scorers:
Shinya YAJIMA 39'
PATRIC 60

Attendance: 4777