New manager Jose Carlos Serrao will be feeling a little nervous after Gamba’s first up loss in the ACL and a surprising first round defeat to Vissel Kobe in the J-League.
The Kansai team have had a great run of success in preceding seasons (finishing top 3 since 2004, except 2008) but this season the alarm bells are beginning to ring. With a new coach and a new outlook the team have added Japanese international defender Konno to shore up a leaky defence. Unfortunately the first two meaningful games of the campaign have begun with a glut of goals at the wrong end for Gamba.
The ACL game against Pohang Steelers of Korea saw three goals flow into the Gamba net. One goal was a result of new signing Konno mis-controlling, while another saw an unmarked Kim Tae Su head home from six yards. The 3-nil defeat at home prompted manager Serrao to state, “this was a big loss for us and now means that really we have to win away to qualify for the next stage.”
In the J-League clash it took less than 17 minutes for Kobe to go ahead and only a long range pot-shot got Gamba back into the game before half-time. Before injury time came around it was 3-1 Kobe, with two goals coming from set pieces. Gamba pulled one back to restore some pride in front of the home fans.
Other notable results from week one were:
Defending champions Kashiwa Reysol 3-3 Yokohama F-Marinos
Title contenders Nagoya Grampus 1-0 Shimizu S-Pulse
Home defeat for Omiya Ardija 0-1 FC Tokyo