SUITA, Osaka Pref. - Gamba Osaka recorded their first win in the Asian Champions League in emphatic fashion on Wednesday, hammering Vietnamese club Da Nang 15-0 to move into second spot in Group E.
Brazilian striker Magno Alves scores during Gamba Osaka’s Asian Champions League match against Vietnamese club Da Nang.
Brazilian strikers Fernandinho and Magno Alves accounted for eight of Gamba’s goals to lift the J. League champions into second spot, three points behind China’s Dalian Shide, who beat South Korean FA Cup winners Chonbuk Motors 1-0 in the group’s other fixture.
Yasuhito Endo, one of three Gamba starters named earlier in the day to Japan’s squad for the upcoming friendly with Ecuador, broke the deadlock, and the floodgates, when he converted a penalty after 15 minutes.
Fernandinho scored three of his goals in the first half and Magno Alves and Ryuji Bando also found the net to put Gamba 6-0 up at the interval.
Magno Alves added to his tally in the 49th, 70th and 86th minutes and Masafumi Maeda (twice), Hideo Hashimoto and Tsuneyasu Miyamoto also chipped in, before Akihiro Ienaga wrapped up the embarrassingly one-sided game in the last minute.
Dalian took a significant step towards the knockout phase thanks to Zou Jie’s decider five minutes before the break at Dalian Jin Zhou Stadium.
Zou collected a well-timed through ball from defender Zhai Yanpeng and curled an angled shot past Chonbuk keeper Lee Kwang Suk. The defeat was the first of the campaign for Chonbuk, who came from behind to beat Gamba 3-2 in their opening game.
The winner of each group advances to the last eight of the tournament, which involves the league and cup champions of the top 14 national associations in the Asian Football Confederation.
The defending champions, Saudi giants Al Ittihad, join the competition at the quarterfinals. The winners net $600,000 and also earn a place in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December, previously known as the Club World Championship.