GAMBA OSAKA
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2019.3.18

Kawasaki Frontale 0-1 Gamba Osaka

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Gamba Osaka rang the changes in this match - with Shunya Suganuma and Takahiro Ko coming into the starting XI for Oh Jae-suk and Yasuyuki Konno, and manager Tsuneyasu Miyamoto using a 4-2-3-1 look as his team took home all three points on a well-deserved, very late winner from Genta Miura, who sealed the victory as the clock hit additional time.

The 1st half saw Gamba contain their hosts to mostly possession outside the box and shots from distance with Masaaki Higashiguchi in the away goal doing the necessary when needed, with three saves of note in the opening half, but the match remained scoreless at the break.

Suganuma coming into the back line meant that captain Miura was moved out to right back, and, while normally playing just behind the strikers, Shu Kurata came into central midfield with Ko, allowing Yasuhito Endo to play a more advanced role behind Hwang Ui-jo up front. Early in the 2nd half this formation began to produce chances for the away team, with Kosuke Onose slipping the ball through the legs of a defender in the 53rd minute and almost reaching Hwang for the finish, but for a desperate clearance.

There came a period of sustained pressure from the home team but the Gamba defence stood firm throughout the onslaught and then Ademilson started to find space on the left with related runs as Frontale pushed forward leaving gaps. The diminutive Brazilian made a tricky run through the middle in the 79th minute, ending with a run across the box before feeding the in-rushing Hiroki Fujiharu perfectly. The left back saw his first-time shot saved by the 'keeper's left foot when it seemed the away fans were already starting to celebrate! Despite being away, at the Champions it was clear that Gamba were not settling for a draw as the full backs continued to raid down the wings supporting the attacking players.

Frontale had what was possibly their best chance of the game in the 89th minute when a long hopeful ball bounced well for substitute Leandro Damiao - he had no idea where the ball was when it bounced off his knee back into space but he adjusted quickly and blasted just past the post with Higashiguchi looking on helplessly.

Gamba won the match on a move that started at the back with Kim slipping the ball forward and multiple Gamba players in on the quick passing movement before Kurata was found by Ademilson on the left. Fujiharu went steaming past the Gamba number 10 and the ball was rolled perfectly into space for the left back to cross hard and low. Once again emphasising Gamba's willingness to look for the win and not settle for a draw it was right back Miura coming in at the far post to slam the ball home as the clock ticked over 90 minutes, giving Gamba the win before their captain goes off to play with the national team.


Team - Higashiguchi, Miura, Suganuma, Kim, Fujiharu, Kurata, Ko, Onose (Yonekura, 90+4), Endo, Ademilson (Watanabe, 90+3), Hwang


Goal - MIURA, 90+1