Gamba 2 – 0 Avispa
75′ Own Goal (Tatsunori)
There was a sense of anticipation about this game before the broadcast started; What formation would we be playing? Would we have a striker? Is Ramazotti allowed to play yet?
As the teams were read out this quickly evaporated as it seemed that very little was different from how it would have been with Shinoda. Playing the same 4231 was expected, playing with a striker was very welcome but it was Yutaka who got the nod.
Maybe Ramazotti isn’t allowed to play yet, but what has happened to Shigematsu? Is he injured? Jogo wasn’t even on the bench, is he injured now too?
As much as everyone want Yutaka to be the answer, everyone also knows he is not good enough. Not by a lot, he has a good shot and a good jump, and the timing to almost be great, but everything is just a little bit not good enough. It wasn’t good enough for J2, and it isn’t good enough now.
This leads into the main point from this match, we weren’t totally outclassed at any point. In fact for about 15 minutes at the start of the 2nd half we were all over them, but I can’t see how we are ever going to score.
If I said to imagine the team who you support scoring a goal then most people could do it. You would have a rough idea about who might score, and how they might do it. For Avispa I have no idea. Literally anyone in the team could score and it wouldn’t surprise me. 75% of the goals scored this season have come from some opportunism after a mistake from the other team rather than some worked move. I read a statistic which said that well over half of all goals scored have under 8 passes before they go in, after 8 Avispa passes we are usually still in our own half wondering how to get the ball up to the other end.
This summed up the match today. Both teams were fairly level in the first half, albeit with Gamba having much more of a threat in the final third. They hadn’t come too close to scoring but then the ball was given away by Avispa as they tried to pass the ball around in the centre circle and a ball went stray behind Naruoka. Sueyoshi couldn’t get close enough to the #17 to foul him properly and a fast break with numbers saw a ball go across the box from Gamba’s Korean winger, dummied by #17 and easily guided home by an unmarked Rafinha.
It had taken 2 passes to score the goal. Avispa would have a similar break in the middle of the second half where Yusuke got the ball but stopped to think what he was doing, wait for support, allow the defence to come back and the ball ended up back with Rokutan.
After half-time Avispa were much better, an they really should have got a goal through one of their attacks. They seemed to be trying to make a long diagonal ball work, with Yusuke or Hideya getting the ball on the edge of the box and either shooting or crossing. the shooting was snatched with most shots going well over the bar, and the crossing was ineffective with Yutaka the only target.
This made a situation where the wingers seemed to lose a bit of confidence and started trying to do more with the ball, looking for another pass or cutting back inside.
As it looked like Avispa may be able to get something just from the number of chances they were getting the game was killed by a second simple goal. In a similar fashion to the first goal (and the 3 goals conceded against Nagoya) Gamba ran direct at the Avispa defence with and advanced playmaker playing a ball through the defensive line for the Korean winger to run onto. Having turned the defence, and not waiting for them to re-group he fired a cross across the box where Tatsunori didn’t have time to organise his feet and scored an own goal.
Matsuuda came on for 20 minutes and was totally ineffective, Masato had a very welcome run out and looked good again, but rather than a change in personnel it was a change in plan the team needed.