Tag: Gamba Osaka

Match Of The (Mid)Week: Gamba Osaka 3-5 Manchester United

This site is a champion of the FIFA World Club Cup, but it’s important to make a differentiation at this point. This site is emphatically not in favour of its current format, which is hopelessly lop-sided and, in their over-enthusiasm to not be too inconvenient to the big European clubs, FIFA have created a competition which is neither flesh nor fowl. The difference between the European and, say, African champions is still so great that only the Europeans and South American champions have a serious chance of winning it, yet there is something vaguely farcical about the fact that Manchester United only have to play two matches in order to be crowned world champions (compared to the thirteen required to win the Champions League) in a competition that their supporters don’t really care that much about. For all of that, though, one can’t help but suspect that, if a club deserves the title of “World Champions”, it’s the current Manchester United team. They play with a swaggering brilliance when attacking that they can comfortably mask their occasional defensive shortcomings. This morning, in front of a crowd of over 67,000 in Yokohama, Gamba Osaka, the champions of Asia, were held up as sacrificial lambs as United made light of their 10,000 mile journey to brush them aside. Having said that, however, the opening twenty-five minutes were much closer than the...

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Gamba Osaka vs Manchester United – A Public Service Announcement

Thank you to those of you that have emailed me regarding tomorrow’s FIFA World Club Cup semi-final between Gamba Osaka and Manchester United. Just to confirm, the match is being shown live on British television, on Channel Five. Kick-off is at 10.30 am, and the programme starts at 10.20. So far as I am aware, the final will be shown on Channel Five on Sunday morning regardless of Manchester United win tomorrow, again with a 10.30 am kick-off and with the programme starting at...

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The FIFA World Club Cup 2008 (Part Two)

As promised last night, here’s the second half of our look at the competitors in this year’s FIFA World Club Cup, starting with the representatives from the host nation, Japan. Host Nation Representatives: Gamba Osaka (Japan) Who Are They, Then? Gamba Osaka are one of just six clubs never to have been relegated from the J-League since it began in 1992. They’re not one of Japan’s best-supported clubs (Osaka is a “baseball town”), and they’ve only won the J-League once, in 2005. They did, however, win the AFC Champions League this year, meaning that they qualify as the Asian champions. How Did They Get Here? The Asian Football Confederation Champions League started in March with Gamba requiring a goal four minutes into injury time from the Brazilian Lucas to salvage a 1-1 draw against the Thai side Chonburi. They went on to win four and draw two of their six group matches to finish top of their group. In the quarter-finals, they beat the Syrian side Al Karamah to set up an all-Japanese semi-final against Urawa Red Diamonds. They drew the first leg 1-1 at home before causing a minor surprise by winning the second leg in Saitama by three goals to one. The final turned out to be a little one-sided, and a 5-0 aggregate win against Adelaide United to become the second successive Japanese winners of the...

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