Gamba Osaka 2-0 Kawasaki Frontale
Gamba Osaka came into this home league game with some confidence after their 3-0 Levain Cup win over FC Tokyo finally showed some of the potential that this squad has, and, after another clean sheet against perennial rivals Kawasaki Frontale, things are looking much brighter than two games back. Today Kosei Tani was given the start in goal - Masaaki Higashiguchi making way - while Hideki Ishige (in for Yuki Yamamoto) was the other change.
Tani was forced into actin early in the game, denying both Daiya Tono and Taisei Miyashiro, before the whistle went for offside. In the big picture, meaningless, but surely good for the confidence of the young 'keeper. At the other end, Naohiro Sugiyama - two-goal hero of midweek - was denied a headed attempt by Jung Sung-ryong in the Frontale goal, Keisuke Kurokawa's pinpoint cross creating the chance. From the resulting corner, however, swung over by Ishige, Dawhan headed home to open the scoring in the 29th minute. And so the teams went into the half-time break with that single goal giving the home team a well-deserved lead.
Shortly after the restart, Juan Alano curled in a fine right foot shot after making his way across the area and into space. The goalkeeper had no chance and Gamba had doubled their lead. Soon after the goal Frontale went down to 10 men as Shintaro Kurumaya hacked Ishige down in midfield and saw a second yellow card, after the referee had allowed advantage first.
The Gamba goal came under no pressure as they held their lead with ease, and controlled the game. Juan Alano even had the ball in the net again with nine minutes to go, but VAR decided there was an offside offence, even though the ball had been dropped by the 'keeper and had just bounced off a Gamba player into the path of the Brazilian goalscorer. No goal but never the less, another win, another clean sheet and the Gamba Osaka machine is beginning to gain momentum.
Team - Tani, Handa (Takao, 79'), Miura, Kwon (Egawa, 79'), Lavi, Dawhan, Ishige (Usami, 63'), Sugiyama (Fukuda, 63'), Jebali (Suzuki, 63'), Juan Alano
Juan ALANO 50'