Monday 18 June 2012

Gamba reach out to former hero after more late misery

Gamba Osaka have called upon the services of their former striker Leandro to save them from the increasingly perilous clutches of a relegation battle at the foot of the J1 table.

The 27-year-old Brazilian will be eligible to play again for his former club from 20 July after signing a one-year loan deal from Qatari side Al-Sadd – whom he joined in a sudden €7 million transfer after scoring 22 goals in 29 appearances during a six-month initial stint at Banpaku back in 2009.

The news presents a rare cause for optimism among the Gamba faithful, who witnessed their side resume the J. League season as they had left off before the three-week international break – surrendering a lead and succumbing at home to a late stoppage-time winner, this time at the hands of high-flying Urawa Reds.

Masanobu Matsunami’s side actually began the game in positive fashion, with Paulinho going close early on with a long-range shot that struck the top of the Urawa crossbar. The Brazilian had a hand in the opening goal on 15 minutes when his left-footed corner found the head of strike partner Akihiro Sato to divert the ball beyond Nobuhiro Kato.

But Reds were level on the half hour mark when Yosuke Kashiwagi’s through ball sent Genki Haraguchi in behind the hosts’ defence to slot coolly past Atsushi Kimura.

Amidst torrential rain, Gamba struggled to maintain their rhythm and found themselves pushed back as the second half progressed. The killer goal came with 92 minutes on the clock, as Kashiwagi sent a superb pass with the outside of his left foot to the overlapping Tsukasa Umesaki, who turned inside Shigeru Yokotani and slotted the ball into the opposite corner.

The defeat sees the 2005 Japanese champions fall to second from bottom, six points adrift of safety, as Albirex Niigata enjoyed a surprise 1-0 win over Shimizu S-Pulse in their first match under the charge of new manager Masaaki Yanagishita.


Vegalta Sendai eased back into league action with a comfortable 4-1 home win over hapless Consadole Sapporo, with veteran former Japan forward Atsushi Yanagisawa finally netting his first and second home goals for the club either side of half time.

But their challenge to win a first ever title may be growing in difficulty after Kashiwa Reysol and Nagoya Grampus – now both free to concentrate on domestic action after elimination from the Asian Champions League – notched four goals apiece en route to entertaining away victories at Omiya Ardija and Kashima Antlers, respectively.

A first-time, looping volley from Leandro Domingues opened the floodgates for Reysol to score all of their goals within a 25-minute spell, having initially gone behind to a fine individual effort from Carlinhos. Grampus, meanwhile, had Kensuke Nagai to thank for his spectacular curling winner four minutes from time.

The two previous J. League winners are ten points behind Sendai, each with a game in hand.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima remain second after their impressive 4-1 victory away to Cerezo Osaka, with Urawa in third on level points with Kawasaki Frontale, who inflicted a first ever J1 home loss upon Sagan Tosu.

A hat-trick from 19-year-old Keijiro Ogawa secured a 3-1 win for Vissel Kobe – their first under new boss Akira Nishino – away to Jubilo Iwata, while a composed turn and shot from Shingo Hyodo was enough for Yokohama F Marinos to extend their unbeaten run to seven with a 1-0 victory over FC Tokyo.

- Tokyo Verdy went top of the J2 table after beating previous leaders JEF United Chiba 2-1.
- Bundesliga side Hannover 96 confirmed the long-anticipated transfer of Japan right-back Hiroki Sakai from Kashiwa Reysol last Wednesday. The 22-year-old will move to Germany after his current club’s clash with Nagoya Grampus on 7 July.

J1 results (matchday 14)
Vegalta Sendai 4-1 Consadole Sapporo
Kashima Antlers 2-3 Nagoya Grampus
Omiya Ardija 2-4 Kashiwa Reysol
Yokohama F Marinos 1-0 FC Tokyo
Albirex Niigata 1-0 Shimizu S-Pulse
Jubilo Iwata 1-3 Vissel Kobe
Gamba Osaka 1-2 Urawa Reds
Cerezo Osaka 1-4 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Sagan Tosu 0-1 Kawasaki Frontale

J2 results (matchday 20)
Tochigi SC 3-4 Yokohama FC
Tokyo Verdy 2-1 JEF United Chiba
Machida Zelvia 0-0 Montedio Yamagata
Ventforet Kofu 4-1 Kataller Toyama
Gainare Tottori 0-1 Matsumoto Yamaga
Avispa Fukuoka 0-0 FC Gifu
Oita Trinita 1-0 Mito HollyHock
Shonan Bellmare 2-0 Fagiano Okayama
Tokushima Vortis 3-0 Ehime FC
Kyoto Sanga 0-1 Thespa Kusatsu
Roasso Kumamoto 2-2 Giravanz Kitakyushu

posted by Ben Mabley at 21:18 | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) | Minutecast | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
Comment on this article - この記事へのコメント
Write a comment - コメントを書く
Name - お名前: [Required - 必須入力]

E-mail address - メールアドレス:

Website address - ホームページアドレス:

Comment - コメント: [Required - 必須入力]

Authentication code - 認証コード: [Required - 必須入力]

* Enter the characters displayed here - 画像の中の文字を半角で入力してください。
* Only comments approved by the author will be displayed - ブログオーナーが承認したコメントのみ表示されます。

TrackBack references to this page - この記事へのトラックバック




・マイブログの【設定】 > 【広告設定】 より、「60日間更新が無い場合」 の 「広告を表示しない」にチェックを入れて保存する。