FC Tokyo 3-0 Gamba Osaka

Another week, another undeserved loss, another three goals conceded... things can only get better after the break!

In Tokyo, Ryu Takao returned to the starting line-up, while Shu Kurata came in for Issam Jebali, who started on the bench. Neither team seemed likely to get the breakthrough in the early stages until suddenly Masaaki Higashiguchi was called into action in the 15th minute, making three saves in the space of about five seconds - only for the flag to belatedly go up and see those fine pieces of work chalked off his stats!! Minutes later Gamba's slick one-touch passing from their own half split the defence wide open and Takashi Usami advanced into the area onto the final pass, but pulled his shot inches wide of the far post with the 'keeper looking on gratefully.

Chance were seen at both ends as the teams pushed and prodded each other and it was Higashiguchi in action again next, just after the half-hour mark, getting to his right to parry out a flicked header at an in-swinging corner to keep the scores level. Minutes later, though, the home team were ahead as Riki Harakawa latched onto a pass on the edge of the area and managed to keep control of the ball as it sneaked past a defender. His shot across the 'keeper rolled in at the far post.

Things then went from bad to worse as a speculative long ball from Adailton from on the halfway line bounced awkwardly just outside the area, fooling the out-rushing Higashiguchi, and Diego Oliveira managed to get a foot to the bouncing ball to nudge it past the 'keeper, and he finished off into an empty net, 2-0 at half time.

Just after the break Gamba were looking for the goals that would give them something from the game, but leaving gaps and taking risks and a stray pass saw Adailton grab the ball and break free, his pass finding Ryoma Watanabe who shot against the post! The home team's third goal then summed up the game as Gamba lost the ball in the Tokyo half and substitute Kota Tawaratsumida advanced down the left wing. He seemed to be going nowhere but somehow bobbled the ball between two defenders as he grabbed at the shirt of Takao, and found himself in on goal. His shot at the near post beat Higashiguchi and it was game over!

Team - Higashiguchi, Takao, Sato (Fukuoka, 65'), Kwon, Kurokawa, Lavi, Dawhan (Ishige, 65'), Yamamoto, Usami, Meshino (Fukuda, 72'), Kurata (Jebali, 55')