Vissel Kobe 4-0 Gamba Osaka
Gamba visited Kansai neighbours Vissel Kobe in their third J1 game of the 2023 season and came home with a drubbing. A 4-0 loss was not necessarily deserved, and the first two goals conceded were unfortunate - a mis-kick and a deflection - but once they were chasing the game, the defence was left exposed time and again, and the result became embarrassing for our men in blue and black.
Neta Lavi began as the anchor in midfield while Issam Jebali got the start as the central striker. The Gamba goal was under pressure within 20 seconds of kick-off as Yuya Osako struck a sweet shot just wide, but the away team were not so lucky just two minutes later as Osako - again - struck, but this time his mis-licked short fooled Kosei Tani in the Gamba goal, and it was 1-0 to Vissel Kobe. Gamba then picked themselves up and got into the game, with Hiroto Yamami pressuring the defence at times and Jebali heading just wide minutes before the break, but it remained 1-0 to the home side at half time.
Coming onto the field for the 2nd half Gamba players must have felt that they could get back into the game, but that hope was cruelly struck down with another unfortunate - for the away team anyway - event that saw Gotoku Sakai's weak shot deflected past Tani to give Vissel Kobe a 2-0 lea within two minutes of the restart.
The third goal came after poor defending at a corner left Yoshinori Muto completely free for a header past Tani, and then the defence allowed Sakai to run free into the box and beat Tani at his near post with a bullet of a shot high into the net. Four goals conceded, enough said.
Team - Tani, Takao, Miura, Egawa, Kurokawa, Lavi (Dawhan, 74'), Y.Yamamoto (Meshino, 67'), Usami, Alano (R.Yamamoto, 74'), Jebali (Handa, 80'), Suzuki (Yamami, 67')