Oita Trinita 2-3 Gamba Osaka
Gamba went into this game with relegation-threatened Oita Trinita facing former player and coach Tomohiro Katanosaka, and promptly hammered another nail into the J2-headed coffin. Patric grabbed a hat trick in this game and walked away with the match ball (or one of them, at least).
With Ryu Takao, Yota Sato and Yuya Fukuda in the starting XI, not to mention to ever-increasing talent of Yuki Yamamoto in midfield, as well as Ko Yanagisawa and Hiroto Yamami on the bench, the future of the team was also being look after while the 2021 team did the business today for three deserved points.
While the result was a win Gamba found themselves down 1-0 just before the half hour mark as a cross came in and Hiroki Fujiharu was pushed from behind enough to see him off balance and heading into this own net. The officials decided, however that it was not a foul, the goal stood and Gamba were behind. But not for long! The pressing play that we have seen so much of from Gamba this season paid off again as the right back position of Oita Trinita was harassed and gave the ball up. Yamamoto cross quickly and low, and Patric poked home from close range, 1-1 a minute after going behind.
The game was end to end and Gamba found themselves behind again before the break as a shot, or so it seemed, from distance hit former Gamba forward Hirota Goya in the centre of the area, but the Trinita player's reflexes were quick enough to angle his body towards goal and the ball went in off Goya's chest. 2-1 to the home team.
Eights minutes after the restart it was Gamba's turn to see a shot helped into the net, as Shu Kurata's mis-hit attempt fell to Patric, who also seemed to barely get anything on it, but the ball sneaked into the net, the lack of contact from Patric fooling the 'keeper enough. 2-2! Gamba level again!
The winner came from the penalty spot after substitute Yamami took players on from midfield, twisted turned, faked a shot, twisted again and eventually saw his attempt blocked by the hand of a defender. Patric stepped up and placed the ball to the 'keeper's left to grab his third and win the game for Gamba! What a run by Yamami it was to create the opportunity. The future is bright for yet another Gamba youngster, following in the footsteps of the likes of Ritsu Doan, Keito Nakamura, Ryotaro Meshino, Shuhei Kawasaki and more. Let's hope he stays long enough for Gamba fans to see his potential fulfilled!
Team -- Higashiguchi, Takao (Shoji, 46), Sato, Suganuma, Fujiharu, Yamamoto (Ju, 90+1), Ideguchi, Kurata (Yamami, 65), Usami (Onose, 76), Fukuda (Yanagisawa, 90+1), Patric
PATRIC 29' 53' 84'