Gamba Osaka 0-0 Shonan Bellmare
Gamba Osaka went into their final game of the 2021 season up against former player and coach Satoshi Yamaguchi - in charge of Shonan Bellmare - with the away team's fate up for deciding, and a possible relegation to J2, depending on the results elsewhere on this final day. In the end, Tokushima Vortis were 3-0 down early in their game and went on to lose, and be relegated, so Bellmare, and Yamaguchi remained in J1 for 2022.
As it was, the game ended 0-0 and Bellmare took away a point to ensure their safety and most Gamba fans in the stadium - with an attendance 0f 16,699 - probably did not begrudge former fan favourite Yamaguchi the point!
It was, in fact Bellmare who came closest to scoring in a 1st half that didn't see either team really exerting themselves or stamping their name on the game, with Gamba 'keeper Masaaki Higashiguchi saving twice from close range as half time approached, but the game remained scoreless at the break.
Five minutes into the 2nd half, though, it was a different story as Bellmare goalkeeper Daiki Tomii was beaten by a super long range snapshot from Takashi Usami, but the crossbar saved him from conceding. The game continued with the away team looking for a goal and they must be commended for that, even though they knew that Vortis were losing badly, they still went looking for this win. It was not be a three-pointer for either team today, though, as the game ended 0-0 and then the away fans, and the whole squad out on the field waiting for the result from elsewhere that would confirm their place in J1 for 2022. When it came they celebrated and Gamba fans saluted Satoshi Yamaguchi, also.
Team - Higashiguchi, Miura, Shoji, Suganuma, Onose (Fukuda, 46), Fujiharu, Ideguchi, Okuno (Ono, 78), Kurata (Yamamoto, 78), Usami, Patric