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2021.10.20

Kashima Antlers 3-1 Gamba Osaka

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Gamba Osaka traveled to Kashima where they met a team who were historically strong at home and, with so many injuries still affecting the team, this was always going to be a tall task for the away team. Manager Masanobu Matsunami went for three backs in this one, with Hiroki Fujiharu and Kosuke Onose as wide players in midfield.

Both teams looked for goals and it was an open game, Yosuke Ideguchi seeing a mid-range shot fly just wide of the goal in the 17th minute s Gamba looked comfortable against their hosts early in the game, while Antlers started to see more of their opponent's goal as the half went on, Ayase Ueda and Ryuji Izumi seeing shots go just wide, but it remained scoreless at the break.

The breakthrough for Antlers came seven minutes after the restart when a counterattack led to a shot that was saved well, down low by Masaaki HIgashiguchi, but the predatory instincts of Ueda sprang into action, and he was first to the rebound to open the scoring. Less than 10 minutes later and Gamba were 2-0 down after allowing Juan Alano an unmarked near post header.

As is their way, Gamba never give up and went looking for the goals that might bring them a point in this game, but that left them open to the counter attack and Shoma Doi finished off a three- against-two break in the 73rd minute, to put the game to bed. A consolation goal - a PK earned and scored by Tiago Alves - came late in the game but the day belong to Kashima Antlers.

Team - Higashiguchi, Taka0 (Yanagisawa, 70), Suganuma, Kim, Fujiharu, Ideguchi (Ju, 80), Yamamoto (Usami, 70), Onose, Yajima (Wellington Silva, 80), Kurata, Patric (Tiago Alves, 70)

Scorer: Tiago ALVES 80'