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Football Japan Minutecast No. 3 – Leandro hits hat-trick as Gamba roar on


Thursday 19 March 2009

Gamba Osaka took a massive stride towards qualification for the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League with a 4-2 win away to FC Seoul of South Korea on Tuesday evening. Having failed to build on an early goal from Masato Yamazaki, the defending champions were fortunate to go into half-time still in the lead, and it was little surprise when international forward Jung Jo-Gook equalised for the hosts soon after the restart. But Leandro then took the game by the scruff of the neck with an explosive, 22-minute hat-trick to give Gamba an unassailable advantage, with a last minute consolation strike from Lee Sang-Hyup all the Koreans could manage in reply.


Having already beaten Shandong Luneng 3-0 in their opening game, two wins from next month’s double header with the group’s weakest side, Sriwijaya of Indonesia, will likely be enough to secure Gamba’s early qualification for the last 16. The three goals for Leandro, meanwhile, took his tally to six in four games since joining from local rivals Vissel Kobe.


After a 4-1 thrashing in Suwon last week, J League champions Kashima Antlers got their ACL campaign back on track by beating Shanghai Shenhua 2-0. Takuya Nozawa opened the scoring just before half time, but it was a real night to remember for 18-year-old forward Yuya Osako, who marked his first ever start for the Antlers with a goal to seal the points late on.


Nagoya Grampus head a tight looking Group E on goals scored after their first ever home game in the Champions League ended in a scoreless draw with Chinese side Beijing Guoan. In Group H, Kawasaki Frontale kept on track for the last 16 with a useful 1-1 draw in Korea away to Pohang Steelers – Shuhei Terada cancelling out a tenth minute goal from Kim Jae-Sung.



AFC Champions League group stage results (matchday 2)

Group E

Nagoya Grampus 0-0 Beijing Guoan

Newcastle United Jets 2-0 Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i


Group F

FC Seoul 2-4 Gamba Osaka

Shandong Luneng 5-0 Sriwijaya


Group G

Kashima Antlers 2-0 Shanghai Shenhua

Singapore Armed Forces 0-2 Suwon Bluewings


Group H

Pohang Steelers 1-1 Kawasaki Frontale

Tianjin Teda 2-2 Central Coast Mariners


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