0 Min: Welcome to today’s live blog featuring two teams who have both fared poorly at the beginning of the season, and who both changed manager accordingly. Masanobu Matsunami’s men host Kawasaki Frontale lead by interim appointee Tatsuya Mochizuki at the Osaka Expo ’70 Stadium, and I’ll be bringing you team news very soon.
0 Min: Gamba Osaka – Fujigawa; Kaji, Nakazawa, Konno, Fujiharu; Takei, Endo, Kurata, Terada; Sato, Rafinha
Substitutes: Kimura; Kim, Niwa; Sasaki, Futagawa, Abe; Lee
0 Min: Kawasaki Frontale – Nishibe; Saneto, Jeci, Morishita, Komiyama; Nakamura, Shibasaki, Tasaka, Yajima; Renato, Kobayashi
Substitutes: Ando; Ito, Tanaka; Imamoto, Yamase, Kusukami; Komatsu
0 Min: One change to the Gamba team to report from the side beaten 4-1 by Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Matchday Five, Takahiro Futagawa making way Shinichi Terada. Despite suffering a 1-0 defeat at home last weekend, Kawasaki Frontale’s line-up is unchanged.
0 Min: And we’re underway. Frontale kick-off, and head straight up field.
1 min: GOAL! With 20 seconds gone, Renato feeds Takanobu Komiyama on the left, and his guided cross is met by Yusuke Tasaka under pressure from Sota Nakazawa, and his header beats Yosuke Fujigawa to his right. The Gamba goalkeeper potentially could have done better. An extraordinary start to this match.
1 Min: Gamba Osaka 0 Kawasaki Frontale 1
4 Mins: A long ball from defence to Rafinha leaves him with three defenders to beat, and while he maintains possession with a lengthy run to the left of the penalty area, with little support and at a very tight angle, his shot is collected with the minimum fuss by Yohei Nishibe in the right of his goal.
6 Mins: Rafinha has a better opportunity for the equaliser being put through on-one-one against Nishibe following a lovely through ball from Shu Karata, but his first touch is poor and sends him to the right of goal, and his attempted cross shot is easily cleared.
10 Mins: Ironically, despite the goal, Gamba have dominated these early stages, and could easily be on level terms but for some poor control.
12 Mins: A lovely counter-attack from Kawasaki Frontale, Kobayashi and Renato exchanging quickly passes, and Kobayashi finding Takuro Yajima, whose pull back is intercepted and cleared by Gamba.
14 Mins: In a sign of how difficult this Kawasaki Frontale defence may be to break down for the rest of the match, Gamba break with Rafina on the right of midfield, but there are eight players in two lines within six yards of the penalty area. With few passing options available and a maze of defenders in the way, a shot from outside the area on the left is easily saved by Nishibe.
17 Mins: So we look to be set, at this stage, for Gamba to try and find holes in an organised Kawasaki Frontale team, and Frontale to try to break quickly on the counter-attack.
19 Mins: Gamba’s first corner of the match, to be taken on the right by Yasuhito Endo. It was delivered to a dangerous area in between the six yard box and penalty spot, but didn’t find any of his targets.
22 Mins: A debatable penalty claim, Rafinha’s touch potentially beating Nishibe to the left of goal as the goalkeeper came to challenge, and with a goal kick awarded evidently the referee believes Nishibe failed to get a touch. Perhaps a talking point should the scoreline remain the same.
24 Mins: Shu Kurata and Yasuhito Endo link well on the edge of the penalty area, but Kurata’s shot from 18 yards is deflected and lands in Nishibe’s hands.
26 Mins: Another Endo corner, this time from the left, is swung in right footed, but it’s inside the six yard box and Nishibe takes it cleanly.
27 Mins: A very good cross from Endo, but it is delivered a little too late and Akihiro Sato has strayed into an off-side position. Promising signs still for Gamba.
29 Mins: Yusuke Tasaka to take Kawasaki Frontale’s first corner from the right.
29 Mins: GOAL! Extraordinarily poor defending from Gamba. Tasaka’s ball drifts right footed into the penalty area, and Yu Kobayashi escapes marker Hiroki Fujiharu far too easily, heading into the left of the goal from eight yards. Two shots from Kawasaki Frontale have resulted in two goals.
29 Mins: Gamba Osaka 0 Kawasaki Frontale 2
31 Mins: Yasuhito Endo goes into the book for a challenge which wasn’t really worthy of the card.
33 Mins: The second goal has given Frontale some breathing space, and they are passing the ball around comfortably in midfield. Kengo Nakamura then plays a ball through to Renato on the right edge of the penalty area, who is blocked out for a corner.
35 Mins: Tasaka’s corner again finds a Frontale head, but this time, fortunately for Gamba, it’s directed straight at Fujigawa.
35 Mins: A deserved yellow card this time for Shin Morishita. He pulls back Shinichi Terada on the left after being cleverly beaten by the midfielder. Endo’s free kick, however, is too deep and drops into Nishibe’s gloves.
38 Mins: Masanobu Matsunami needs to take a much closer look at defensive organisation. They are being cut open far too easily, and only a misplaced pass to the left of the penalty area prevents a clear goalscoring opportunity for Frontale.
39 Mins: Gamba’s passing in the final third has left a lot to be desired, Endo crossing aimlessly.
39 Mins: Kengo Nakamura shoots from 20 yards, and his swerving effort is gathered at the second attempt by Fujigawa.
41 Mins: Gamba have a free-kick to the left of the penalty area, but it comes to naught.
43 Mins: Pressure from Gamba again, but the combination of solid defending from Frontale, poor passing and on occasion choosing the wrong option has ensured no way through on goal.
44 Mins: Takanobu Komiyama is the second Frontale player in the book, and Endo has a free-kick to the right of the penalty area. Nishibe gets a poor connection on his punch. The ball is cleared, but only to the edge of the box. Gamba retrieve the ball and press again.
45 Mins: GOAL! Sota Nakazawa gets the slightest of touches to head in a lobbed cross by Yasuyuki Konno, Yohei Nishibe choosing to leave his line but is beaten to the ball by the defender.
45 Mins: Gamba Osaka 1 Kawasaki Frontale 2
HT: The half-time whistle blows. Defensive errors in part to blame for all three goals, but it has certainly been an enjoyable first period.
45 Mins: Gamba kick off to begin the second half.
47 Mins: Should the result stay the same today, it would be three defeats in a row for Gamba at home in J.League Division 1 this season.
49 Mins: A tentative start to the second period is enlivened by a Takanobu Komiyama run down the Kawasaki Frontale left, turning Ajira Kaji inside out, but his shot from an angle is well left of Fujigaya’s goal.
52 Mins: A poor attempt from Rafihna after a further spell of Gamba pressure. Endo and Kurata trying to find a way into the box, and Endo swinging a cross over to the right, which eventually falls to Rafinha and he sends it several feet over Nishibe’s cross bar.
54 Mins: Another Gamba break is let down by Rafinha. A good cross which finds him in space in the penalty area is poorly controlled and taken away from goal, and the attack eventually breaks down.
55 Mins: Renato, with back to goal, spins and turns inside Akira Kaji, but his right footed shot doesn’t trouble Fujigaya’s goal, clearing the cross bar by a significant margin.
57 Mins: Takahiro Futagawa is being readied for his 350th appearance in a Gamba Osaka shirt, replacing Shinichi Terada.
60 Mins: A chance for Renato, who steps inside Hiroki Fujihara to the right of the penalty area, and attempts to bend a ball inside Fujigawa at the near post. It is right of the upright, however, and Fujigawa clears downfield from the ensuing goal kick.
62 Mins: One statistic for Gamba to take some hope in – they have only ever lost once in this fixture to Kawasaki Frontale before, winning six and drawing twice.
65 Mins: Gamba ready to make their second change, Hiroyuki Abe the next man to come on, and Rafinha makes way. Not a surprise, as he has not impressed today.
66 Mins: GOAL! Akihiro Sato strikes for Gamba Osaka and levels matters. A superb low cross from Hiroki Fujihara from left of the penalty area, close to the goal-line, is pulled back to beyond the six yard box, and Sato’s late run is time to perfection to fire first time into the net.
66 Mins: Gamba Osaka 2 Kawasaki Frontale 2
69 Mins: Yu Kobayashi nearly puts Kawasaki Frontale immediately back in front, volleying a cross which a diving Fujigawa meets with a right hand to push behind for a corner. That’s also Kobayashi’s last action of the match, as he makes way for Jumpei Kusukami.
71 Mins: The goal appears to have spurred Frontale into action, and Gamba’s defence is still looking rather suspect from set pieces, a deficiency clearly identified by Tatsuya Mochizuki, Renato leaving the field for the very tall Rui Komatsu.
74 Mins: The match is now very open, both sides looking for a winning goal. Hiroki Fujihara is making some excellent runs down the left, and is just beaten to the ball by Yuki Saneto.
76 Mins: The third and final substitution for Gamba Osaka, Masanobu Matsunami sending on defender Jung-Ya Kim for midfielder Shu Kurata.
77 Mins: Sota Nakazawa receives an Endo free-kick to the left of the six yard area, but his delicately chipped cross just beats the head of Akihiro Sato. Very close for Gamba.
82 Mins: Into the last 10 minutes of normal time, Jeci booked for a strong challenge on Endo. It’s a scrappy period in the match, well-contested in midfield.
83 Mins: GOAL! Immediately after typing the above, another defensive error has given Gamba a potential winner. Akira Kaji steals on the right, and his cross to inside the area is struck first time by Hiroyuki Abe. There’s little power behind the effort, but Yohei Nishibe somehow contrives to let the ball roll under his body and into the net.
83 Mins: Gamba Osaka 3 Kawasaki Frontale 2
86 Mins:Koji Yamase is ready to come on for Kawasaki Frontale, and replaces Kosei Shibasaki.
88 Mins:Two minutes of normal time remaining, Gaba Osaka content to carry the ball into the corners to run down the clock. The number of substitutions would suggest 3-4 minutes of added time.
89 Mins: So close for Kawasaki Frontale. A ball across the area is just by Rui Komatsu, the pressure from a Gamba defender just enough to ensure the ball evades him at the back post.
90 Mins: There will be four minutes of added time, and Gamba Osaka have a corner. They play it short, again intending to waste a few more valuable seconds.
90 Mins+2: Superbly done from Yasuhito Endo, who receives a pass from Yasuyuki Fujihara on the right, and whose run draws a free-kick from Yusuke Tasaka who couldn’t win the ball cleanly.
90 Mins+3: Into the final sixty seconds of the match. Is there anything left in this match for Frontale? The answer would appear to be no, Akihiro Sato now winning a free kick midway in Frontale territory.
90 Mins+4: A strong, sharp blast of the whistle signals the end of the match. Gamba Osaka hold on for a very welcome win, but question marks remain over a still very suspect defence. Frontale, meanwhile, will be asking how they managed to let a two goal lead slip.
FT: Gamba Osaka 3 Kawasaki Frontale 2
FT: Thank you for joining me. A full match report will follow later today.