Shonan Bellmare 4-1 Gamba Osaka

By half time in this J1 matchday 6 game, Gamba were 4-0 down, with all goals coming from Shuto Machino, as the away defence seemed to think he was radioactive - giving him all the space in the world in a disastrous 1st half. Gamba had been on top until the first goal, with Yuki Yamamoto curling a fine effort against the post early on, but once 'keeper Kodei Tani - up against the team he had been playing for until he return to Gamba this season - had mis-judged a clearance to allow Machino an open net tap-in, the goals flowed. It wasn't quite as bad as the 4-0 half time scoreline suggests, though. After the first error, the second goal came from a wicked deflection falling straight to Machino to sweep home for number two. Then the third was a clearance that Tani really should have done better with, and the final goal of the half came from a doubtful handball (not given by VAR) before Machino swooped in at the far post to add to his hat trick. 4-0 at the break, it could only get better.. and it did.

Gamba manager Dani Poyatos made changes - Musashi Suzuki, Hideki Ishige and Ryotaro Meshino were replaced by Neta Lavi - beefing up defensive midfield - Issam Jebali up front, and Shota Fukuoka, allowing some flexibility in formation and how the game changed. Despite plenty of possession and a much-changed skill set in the second period it was the 63rd minute before Jebali made his mark, receiving a ball with his back to goal, turning and poking home in one movement, leaving two defenders in the dust.

Gamba continued to dominate the 2nd half but the game was beyond them and Jebali even put a penalty kick well over the bar in the 89th minute when Gamba could have reduced the deficit. A game to forget, but the 2nd half was promising and a huge improvement after a terrible opening to the game. Onto the next games with some confidence built.
Team - Tani, Handa (Fukuda, 75'), Miura, Egawa, Kurokawa (Sugiyama, 83'), Dawhan, Y.Yamamoto, Ishige (Lavi, 46'), Juan Alano, Suzuki (Jebali, 45'+1), Meshino (Fukuoka, 46')

Issam JEBALI 63'