A 4-0 win over Roasso Kumamoto saw Gamba secure promotion back to the top flight.

The visitors posed little threat in a match that Gamba dominated from kick off to final whistle. First half goals from Yasuhito Endo, Daiki Niwa and Takashi Usami ensured that the match was practically over by the break.

Gamba were a little less energetic in the second half but Akihiro Sato popped up late on to add the fourth – his first goal since making his return from a year long injury lay-off.

The match began at a high pace and the traffic was all one-way right from kick off. It took just seven minutes for Endo to open the scoring.

The skipper – again employed as a second striker – did well to stoop down and flick Takahiro Futagawa’s cross into the net with a well-taken header that any natural striker would have been proud to score.

The hosts could smell blood and Niwa went close three minutes later with a header from a Shu Kurata free kick only for Roasso ‘keeper Yuta Minami to tip his effort wide.

Niwa remained up for the corner and when Minami couldn’t hold on to Usami’s close range header the defender was on hand to prod the ball into the gaping net for his second goal in as many games.

Gamba were rampant and looked like scoring with every attack. Only a string of fine saves from Minami kept them from further adding to their tally but he could do little to stop Usami continuing his impressive goalscoring record.

The midfielder made it 17 goals in 17 games this season with a low strike from 20 yards out that took a slight deflection off a Roasso defender – just enough to take it beyond Minami’s reach.

Gamba took their foot off the gas a little in the second half – perhaps with one eye on next week’s tough clash with Kyoto Sanga – but they still had one more goal in them and it couldn’t have fallen to a more suitable player.

Sato was afforded a ten minute run-out to make his long-awaited return to Banpaku following the cruciate ligament injury that kept him out for a year and he marked the event with his first goal of the season.

Yasuyuki Konno arrowed a long pass forward and the striker did well to take it down on his chest and then slammed it in from 8 yards out. His delight was clear for all to see and it was great to see all of his team mates congratulating him.

The win – coupled with a goalless draw between Vissel and Sanga – means that Gamba’s short J1 exodus will come to an end in a few weeks and they have also returned to the top of the table. Let’s go on and win the title now!

Leave a Reply