• Kyodo


Gamba Osaka manager Kenta Hasegawa is hoping to keep the Suruga Bank Championship trophy in Japan by beating Argentine powerhouse River Plate in the showdown between the Nabisco Cup holders and the Copa Sudamericana champions on Aug. 11.

“We will go out and try to win the title,” Haesgawa, who led Gamba to a domestic league and cup treble last season, told a news conference at Expo Stadium on Monday.

“You can’t switch off against South American teams. We want to win the game and take confidence from that.”

Gamba captain Yasuhito Endo said, “I am excited to be playing against a team with such a rich tradition and history. “We will learn something from them.

“We will get a feel for them and do our best not to lose.”

The Nabisco Cup winners have won the competition the last five years in a row, with Kashiwa Reysol beating Lanus of Argentina in last year’s match.

FC Tokyo won it in 2010, Jubilo Iwata in 2011 and Kashima Antlers in 2012 and 2013.

River Plate, the 36-time Argentine championship winners who play Mexico’s Tigres over two legs in the upcoming final of the Copa Libertadores, will compete in the Club World Cup in Japan in December.

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