Gamba Osaka 1-3 Nagoya Grampus

A terrible start to the game for Gamba Osaka today as they saw themselves 3-0 down by the half hour mark, two goals from Polish striker Swierczok, with former Cerezo Osaka striker Yoichiro Kakitani grabbing the other. And then the game changed, but it was a bridge too far to expect Gamba to come back from three down and the final score showed 3-1... but we are getting ahead of the game.

It was an excellent defensive display from the away team as they parked their banks of defenders to stop Gamba getting near the goal, despite plenty of possession, and then broke fast to create chances and, yes, score goals from nowhere. The first goal came from a Gamba attack breaking down and a swift break down the left channel, a cross to the centre and a simple finish. The second goal, again, saw a Gamba attack snuffed out and a rapid deployment of forwards that converted another chance from nothing. Before 30 minutes was up, another left wing attack from Yuki Soma saw him drag the ball back and another finish from inside the box. 0-3, 29 minutes, and it stayed that way until the break.

Gamba finally got the goal that their play deserved in the 53rd minute, as their high pressing game stripped the ball from the Grampus defence and it was sent through to Usami who pulled it back for Patric. A defender did get a foot to it, but Patric managed to poke home from close range as Langerak, in the away goal, couldn't do enough with the backpass.

From then on it was all Gamba, as Grampus managed to stay ahead somehow, not least with the help of the officials. In the 71st minute Patric had what seemed to be his second goal but it was then chalked of by the "offside delay" flag of the Assistant Referee, although it did not seem to go to VAR and TV replays were inconclusive and not discussed.

And so, in the end, a bad start to the game killed off Gamba, but they gave all they could and were unlucky in the end to come away with nothing against a team who will be thanking the VAR gods that the game did not change with 20 minutes to go.

Team - Higashiguchi. Takao (Yanagisawa, 46), Suganuma, Miura, Fujiharu, Yamamoto (Okuno, 46), Ideguchi (Wellington Silva, 80), Kurata (Fukuda, 59), Usami, Onose (Yamami, 59), Patric


Attendance: 16,343