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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Antlers 5 - 1 Gamba (A Tale of Two Different Games?)

Peter's view of the proceeding at Kashima Stadium last weekend, followed by the a link to Alan's blue-rinsed version. :-)

Well, a draw was no good for Gamba and possibly no good for the Antlers. We didn't get one.

Gamba were very lucky to survive continuos pressure for the first 25 minutes. They seemed to have survived that and from about the 25th minute gave as good as they got; from then till Lucas was sent off in the 68th minute this was a cracking game. At HT it still 0-0. From the 56th to the 62nd minute we had four goals in six minutes.

56' 1-0 (Antlers)
58' 2-0
60' 1-2
62' 1-3

68' Lucas sent off
I'm not complaining about Lucas's red card. Sure, the second yellow was doubtful; but the first yellow card was a bad, bad foul. I would have sent Lucas off for the way he protested it; at that time I thought the ref was very weak and too soft on Lucas. But I'm sure Lucas's vigorous protestation of that first yellow must have riled the ref--it should have riled him more.

Gamba fought proudly till the end, despite the final score line.

Shots: 20-12
GKs: 9-16
CKs: 4-2
Poss: 52%-48%

Those stats tell the story: the Antlers were the sharper and the more penetrative despite having only slightly more possession. They played very aggressively in defence, moving on to the Gamba attackers very quickly.

Gamba played the calmer football, but it was the Antlers who showed the real urgency.

Nishino described it as "kanpai"--a decisive and deserved defeat. He was right.

Visit to see Alan's view, which starts with this opening para. :-)
The scoreline doesn't tell the whole story as Gamba took this to Antlers and, but for a few decisions going against them - hello Mr. Yoshida! (two denied PKs, a red card for Lucas) - they could have been in the lead late in this game, instead of having to finish the game in a 1-4-4 formation and leaving themselves open for two more late strikes as they went for goals!

Still not enough? Here are some other reports of the game.
The Japan Times: Oliveira's Antlers move closer to another title
Daily Gomiuri: Antlers crush Gamba, but party still on hold

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