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2019.5.30

Sagan Tosu 3-1 Gamba Osaka

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Gamba went down to what must be classed as a surprise 3-1 loss to a team that had scored just one league goal in 10 games until this point. Suffice to say the Gamba made it easy for the home team by allowing Isaac Cuenca to be totally unmarked and head home from a couple of yards out to give his team the lead. After that it was a case of chasing the game.

Cuenca was given the run of the park by the Gamba defence who all watched the ball as it sailed over them and to the head of the forward who scored Tosu's second goal of the season, and their first for seven matches!

Ademilson should really have had Gamba level on the half hour mark after a mazy run from Hwang Ui-jo found the diminutive Brazilian in space in the area but he hooked his shot wide with the goal at his mercy. 1-0 at the break Gamba came out fighting and looking for goals and a superb five-man passing movement on the left wing - that started in the Gamba half - opened up space for the chance which eventually fell to Ryotaro Meshino, but the 'keeper was equal to the 20-yard shot and then followed up with another clearance as Hwang Ui-jo tried to pounce on the rebound.

The home team were then aided in the desperate quest for a win when they were given a penalty kick for handball by Shunya Suganuma, as he slid in for the tackle on the attackers' left side. The ball struck the defender's hands as he pulled them in to protect his face and, with new rules coming in June, the referee might well have had second thoughts on this one - but today, it was given. Yohei Toyoda stepped up and dispatched the kick, although Masaki Higashiguchi almost got to it, down to his left.

With Gamba looking for goals there were only three defenders in the goal area when substitute Fernando Torres took a pass from the right wing, but his shot was wide of the post. It was Torres again moments later, set free by Gamba's own Hwang Ui-jo - desperately trying to keep the ball in play on the half way line, but only setting Torres free - with a mis-hit and deflected shot that bounced around the area and was eventually scraped home for the home team's third goal, as Gamba left space at the back.

Finally, with little or no meaning but for the fact that it was a superb goal, Gamba's gung-ho attitude paid off as Meshino got on the scoresheet in additional time with a goal to remember. The youngster took a pass about 30 yards out, beat two defenders, then left another on the floor before blasting hoke from the edge of the area as five defenders lay in his wake! A classy goal but to no avail, as Gamba went down to the team that most J1-watchers consider to be the worst team in J1.


Team - Higashiguchi, Yonekura (Yajima, 77), Suganuma, Kim, Oh (Kurokawa, 71), Endo (Meshino, 46), Konno, Onose, Kurata, Ademilson, Hwang


Goal: Ryotaro MESHINO 90+2