GAMBA OSAKA
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2018.8.18

Gamba Osaka 1-1 Kashima Antlers

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After the team had released manager Levir Culpi from his duties the unsurprising announcement came that U-23 team manager - and Gamba Osaka legend - Tsuneyasu Miyamoto had been appointed the new team manager. In his first match he gave J3 U-23 sensation Takahiro Ko (16 games, 3 goals in J3) his J1 debut and the lad played the full 90 minutes without looking at all overawed.

Gamba went looking for goals from the outset and really should have gone ahead in the 9th minute when Ademilson robbed a doddering defender and advanced towards goal only to hook his shot wide of the post and it was Antlers who took the lead minutes before the break with Koki Machida appearing to score his first professional goal with his right arm. The unsighted officials didn't give it a second thought, though and Gamba were 1-0 down at the break.

Gamba equalised in the 70th minute after some fine closing down work by Koki Yonekura won the ball back for his team. The winger then exchanged passes with a team mate before launching a deep, deep far post lob that flew over the helpless 'keeper and into the far corner to send the home crowd behind the goal into raptures! Minutes later Gamba were almost ahead after Ademilson and Hwang Ui-jo exchanged passes and created space for each other before the Brazilian's shot flew inches wide of the top right corner. Earlier in the move Hwang has been pushed in the back and, unlike many players we had seen this season, elected to stay standing when a penalty kick would not have been strange if he had gone down.

Ademilson was in the thick of things again moments later, finding space between two defenders before going down, the ball falling to Yasuhito Endo who blasted wide from 20 yards out, and it was the little Brazilian and Hwang combining again not long after the give the Korean another shot that was deflected over the bar as the relived goalkeeper watched.

So Miyamoto's first game as Gamba manager ended in a draw but there were very encouraging signs during the game, and surely good things are coming soon!


Team - Higashiguchi, Oh, Miura, Fabio, Hatsuse, Endo, Kurata (Meshino, 83), Yonekura (Fujimoto, 77), Ko, Hwang (Nagasawa, 87), Ademilson

Goal - YONEKURA 70'

Attendance - 28,534