Monday 26 March 2012

Enough is enough as pointless Gamba sack Serrão after five matches

Gamba Osaka have quickly lost patience with their hapless manager José Carlos Serrão – announcing the sacking of both the Brazilian and his assistant Wagner Lopes this afternoon after yesterday’s 2-1 home loss against Jubilo Iwata completed a run of five straight losses from the start of the season.

Following another dire defeat away to Adelaide United in midweek, it was a familiar story again at Banpaku as Jubilo midfielder Minoru Suganuma found acres of space to lay on a through ball for Kosuke Yamamoto, who coolly opened the scoring on 23 minutes.

The visitors’ lead was doubled on the hour when Ryoichi Maeda netted from the spot after being felled in somewhat comical fashion by goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya, who was quite fortunate not to at least receive a yellow card for his actions.

Shu Kurata pulled one back with a perfectly placed header on 84 minutes but the Gamba rally was too little, too late, and club president Kikuo Kanamori remained at the ground with other board members until late at night to determine Serrão’s fate.

Former striker Masanobu Matsunami, who played for the club in the inaugural J. League season back in 1993 and joined the coaching team after retiring with a title winners’ medal in 2005, will initially take over the managerial reins.

A statement from Kanamori read, “Serrão was unable to impose his style of football upon the team, and we have come to this decision in light both of the five consecutive defeats and of the lack of dynamism in the football played throughout.”


Vegalta Sendai stand on top of the J1 table after thrashing Omiya Ardija 4-1 to record their third win in three league matches.

Cho Young-Cheol netted from close range to give Omiya a first-half lead, but Sendai levelled shortly after the restart through Yoshiaki Ota before pulling ahead thanks to an own goal by the most unfortunate Kosuke Kikuchi.

Further strikes from Naoki Sugai and Ota again completed the scoring.

J2 champions FC Tokyo also retained their 100% record with a 2-0 victory away to fellow high-fliers Vissel Kobe. Naohiro Ishikawa finished off a terrific team goal on the counter after 32 minutes following good work from Yohei Kajiyama and Lucas, while substitute Kazuma Watanabe evaded Masahiko Inoha to seal the win deep into second half stoppage time.

Sagan Tosu earned their first ever J1 win with a solitary goal from on-loan Kota Mizunuma against his parent club, Yokohama F Marinos. However, Consadole Sapporo succumbed to a well-taken brace by Yosuke Kashiwagi of Urawa Reds despite leading through Masaki Yamamoto’s second superb strike in two games.

Defending champions Kashiwa Reysol followed up their 5-1 AFC Champions League hammering of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in midweek by securing their first domestic three points of the campaign, but they needed a dramatic late double from defender Tatsuya Masushima to complete a 2-1 comeback victory over Shimizu S-Pulse.

Kashima Antlers and Albirex Niigata both remain pointless after defeats away to Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Nagoya Grampus, respectively. Kawasaki Frontale slipped to their first reverse of the campaign, losing 1-0 at home to unbeaten Cerezo Osaka.

- In the two remaining AFC Champions League group games featuring Japanese clubs, FC Tokyo were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Ulsan Hyundai while Nagoya Grampus drew 1-1 at Central Coast Mariners.
- Shonan Bellmare lost their 100% record but held onto top spot in J2 with a thrilling 3-3 draw away to Roasso Kumamoto.

J1 results (matchday 3)
Vegalta Sendai 4-1 Omiya Ardija
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 Kashima Antlers
Kawasaki Frontale 0-1 Cerezo Osaka
Vissel Kobe 0-2 FC Tokyo
Sagan Tosu 1-0 Yokohama F Marinos
Consadole Sapporo 1-2 Urawa Reds
Kashiwa Reysol 2-1 Shimizu S-Pulse
Nagoya Grampus 2-1 Albirex Niigata
Gamba Osaka 1-2 Jubilo Iwata

J2 results (matchday 5)
Mito HollyHock 0-0 Matsumoto Yamaga
Kataller Toyama 2-3 Giravanz Kitakyushu
Kyoto Sanga 2-1 Machida Zelvia
Fagiano Okayama 2-1 Montedio Yamagata
Avispa Fukuoka 4-0 Gainare Tottori
Yokohama FC 0-2 Ventforet Kofu
Ehime FC 1-1 Tochigi SC
JEF United Chiba 3-0 Tokushima Vortis
Tokyo Verdy 2-0 Thespa Kusatsu
Roasso Kumamoto 3-3 Shonan Bellmare
FC Gifu 0-2 Oita Trinita

AFC Champions League group stage results (East Asia, matchday 2)
Group E
Adelaide United (AUS) 2-0 Gamba Osaka (JPN)
Pohang Steelers (KOR) 0-2 Bunyodkor (UZB)

Group F
FC Tokyo (JPN) 2-2 Ulsan Hyundai (KOR)
Beijing Guoan (CHN) 1-1 Brisbane Roar (AUS)

Group G
Central Coast Mariners (AUS) 1-1 Nagoya Grampus (JPN)
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (KOR) 1-1 Tianjin Teda (CHN)

Group H
Kashiwa Reysol (JPN) 5-1 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR)
Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) 1-2 Buriram United (THA)

Yamazaki Nabisco Cup group stage results
Group A
Urawa Reds 1-0 Vegalta Sendai
Sagan Tosu 2-1 Kawasaki Frontale
Jubilo Iwata 2-1 Cerezo Osaka

Group B
Consadole Sapporo 0-1 Albirex Niigata
Kashima Antlers 2-0 Vissel Kobe
Omiya Ardija 1-1 Yokohama F Marinos

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