[Match Report] Gamba Osaka vs. Kashima Antlers

Gamba Osaka 0 – 1 Kashima Antlers

Kashima Antlers
72′ – 34 Yuma Suzuki (7 Caio)


Gamba Osaka

Starting Formation: 4-2-3-1
GK: 1 Masaaki Higashiguchi
RB: 14 Koki Yonekura
CB: 5 Daiki Niwa
CB: 6 Jung-ya Kim
LB: 4 Hiroki Fujiharu
CM: 7 Yasuhito Endo (C)
CM: 15 Yasuyuki Konno
RW: 25 Jungo Fujimoto
CAM: 9 Ademilson
LW: 19 Kotaro Omori
ST: 20 Shun Nagasawa

ST 39 Takashi Usami and ST 29 Patric start the match on the bench. If Kashima take a lead into halftime, look for Manager Kenta Hasegawa to bring both of them on in the second half.

Player I focused on: CAM 9 Ademilson
After finishing his loan deal with Yokohama F Marinos last season, Ademilson decided to go on another loan deal with league runners-up Gamba Osaka. As I mentioned last season, Ademilson had great work rate and has the technique and physicality to create goal-scoring opportunities. Ademilson playing in an advanced position from CM Endo is a tantalizing thought.

Kashima Antlers

Starting Formation: 4-4-2
GK: 21 Hitoshi Sogahata
RB: 22 Daigo Nishi
CB: 3 Gen Shoji
CB: 23 Naomichi Ueda
LB: 16 Shuto Yamamoto
RM: 25 Yasushi Endo
CM: 10 Gaku Shibasaki
CM: 40 Mitsuo Ogasawara (C)
LM: 13 Atsutaka Nakamura
ST: 18 Shuhei Akasaki
ST: 33 Mu Kanazaki

MF 7 Caio is starting on the bench. He will be Kashima’s trump card coming off the bench in the second half.

Player I focused on: CM 10 Gaku Shibasaki
Shibasaki has vision, passing ability, and a good tactical sense. All the makings for a great midfielder. He also has the fitness and determination to make 40 meter runs from the midfield into the opponent’s penalty area. If Kashima are going to make a serious title run this year, Shibasaki will have to perform well and also get the best out of his teammates, especially ST Kanazaki.

1st Half:

5′: Kashima Antlers – Antlers pick up a loose ball in midfield and launch a short counter. ST Akasaki plays a through ball to fellow striker Kanazaki. Kanazaki takes the ball slightly to the right flank and draws a defender out. At the same time, Akasaki makes a run into Gamba Osaka’s penalty area. Kanazaki hits a pass to Akasaki and he places the ball in the goal, but he was one step offside and the goal is called back.

11′: Kashima Antlers – RM 25 Endo unleashed a left footed shot from 25 meters, but GK Higashiguchi makes the diving save. RM Endo is naturally left footed but is playing on the right side.

20′: Gamba Osaka – RW Fujimoto found himself on the right flank with the ball and cut inside. He took the ball into the penalty area and sent a pin-point pass across the penalty area to LW Omori, but the attack ended without a shot on goal. Although this scene did not end with a shot, it showed what Fujimoto is able to do with the ball at his feet.

28′: Gamba Osaka – RB Yonekura receives a yellow card

32′: Gamba Osaka – MF Yosuke Ideguchi ON, DF 5 Daiki Niwa
DF Niwa looks to have injured his shoulder or collarbone, and MF Ideguchi comes on.
MF Konno drops back as a CB, his natural position, and Ideguchi will  play along side with 7 Endo in the center of midfield.

33′: Kashima Antlers – LM Nakamura played a nice one-two with ST Kanazaki and raced down the flank and beat RB Yonekura, Nakamura took a touch toward goal and took a shot, but it lacked precision and goes high and wide.

40′: Gamba Osaka – CAM Ademilson found himself in space on the left flank and took the ball into Kashima’s penalty area. Ademilson kept his head up and found RW Fujimoto in space near the top of the penalty area. Fujimoto hit a one-time shot but it smashes into the crossbar.

44′: Kashima Antlers – CB Gen Shoji receives a yellow card for bringing down Ademilson.

46′: Kashima Antlers – ST Mu Kanazaki gets a yellow card for objecting to a referee.

1st Half Observations:

  1. Gamba Osaka
    • Lefty Jungo Fujimoto is playing on the right wing today, so expect him to cut inside and combine in the middle of the park.
    • Ademilson is drawing a lot of fouls.
    • LB Fujiharu has not shown he usual explosiveness on the flank.
  2. Kashima Antlers
    • ST Akasaki and ST Kanazaki move with fluidity horizontally and vertically. This is making them available for passes from the midfield and also making it difficult for Gamba’s defenders to mark them.
    • Kashima are looking dangerous on the counter.
    • Kashima putting pressure after Gamba plays a negative pass to defenders.
    • Kanazaki’s yellow card in the 46′ shows that he is still a hot-head. He also got into a minor confrontation with Gamba’s captain Endo. If he doesn’t cool off, he will get sent off in the second half, which is something that has happened last season.

Keys for Success in the 2nd Half:

For Gamba Osaka:

  1. Against Kashima’s 4-4-2, Gamba’s 4-2-3-1 needs to use the flanks more often. Gamba’s SBs, RB Yonekura, LB Fujiharu, are attacking and look to take higher positions on the flanks. This will push back Kashima’s SMFs and Gamba’s WGs, RW Fujimoto, LW Omori, will be able to combine with CAM Ademilson, ST Nagasawa more to create chances.

For Kashima Antlers:

  1. Higher quality passes in the attacking third. Kashima are getting numbers in attack and have 4-5 players in Gamba Osaka’s penalty area, but passes going into the penalty area are low quality.

2nd Half:

52′: Kashima Antlers – CB Ueda gets forward for a corner kick at gets a header on frame, but it goes straight to GK Higashiguchi.

56′: Kashima Antlers – CB Ueda receives a yellow card for a foul of Ademilson. Ademilson used his strength to keep the ball away from Ueda and then uses technique ti nutmeg Ueda, but Ueda takes him down.

62′: Kashima Antlers – From the left side of the penalty area, Shibasaki hit a direct ball into the penalty area where Gamba CB Kim had a moment of indecisiveness. Kashima ST Kanazaki used his acceleration to get in front of CB Kim to get to the ball, but GK Higashiguchi was quicker and collected to ball.

66′: Gamba Osaka – Ademilson sent a beautiful pass from the left side of midfield to RW Fujimoto, who was on the right. Fujimoto took the ball up field and took an accurate shot looking to hit the far side of the net, but GK Sogahata got a hand on the shot, and the ball goes out for a corner kick.

66′: Gamba Osaka – ST 39 Takashi Usami ON, MF Kotaro Omori OFF

69′: Kashima Antlers – 34 MF Yuma Suzuki, ST 18 Akasaki OFF; MF 7 Caio ON, MF 25 Yasushi Endo

70′: Kashima Antlers – Caio comes on and shows his speed and strength on the ball. He charges up the middle of the park, and sends a pass to ST Kanazaki. Kanazaki takes a shot that is saved by GK Higashiguchi, but Kanazaki is judged to be offside.

72′: Kashima Antlers – GOAL 0:1 – Kanazaki receives the ball from RB Nishi with his back toward goal near the right side of the penalty area. He then hits a one-touch pass to Caio, who was making an overlap on the right flank, and Caio hits a soft cross into toward the top of the goal area. Substitute Suzuki gets up to meet the cross and his header finds the back of the net.

78′: Kashima Antlers – Daigo Nishi fouls Ademilson and receives a yellow card.

84′: Gamba Osaka – MF 11 Shu Kurata ON, MF 9 Ademilson OFF

92′: Kashima Antlers – Mitsuo Ogasawara receives a yellow card.

93′: Kashima Antlers – MF 20 Kento Misao ON, MF 13 Atsutaka Nakamura OFF

2nd Half Observations:

  1. Gamba Osaka
    • Gamba is not able to commit numbers on attack because Kashima’s attackers are putting pressure on Gamba’s last line of defense.
  2. Kashima Antlers
    • Same as in the first half, Kashima is quick to transition from defense to offense.

Overall Observations:

Player of the Match:
Kashima Antlers – MF 7 Caio
He came on and changed the game. He put Gamba Osaka on their back foot, and also forced Gamba Osaka attacker Takashi Usami to drop deeper to play defense.

Next fixtures:

Gamba Osaka

vs. Sagan Tosu at Kashima Soccer Stadium on March 5th.

Kashima Antlers

vs. Ventforet Kofu at Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium on March 6th.


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