Jeonbuk, Gamba play out goalless draw

AFC Champions League 2019: Ulsan Hyundai 0-3 Urawa Red Diamonds (Ewerton 87′)

Jeonbuk Motors were held to a goalless draw by Gamba Osaka in their AFC Champions League quarter-final first leg.

The Korean side had not lost at home throughout this year’s competition and maintained that record against the Japanese treble winners.

Despite maintaining their home record against the J-League side, the hosts will perhaps be a touch disappointed with the result, having dominated the match for most of the 90 minutes.

That said, Gamba have a proud record in this year’s competition themselves, going unbeaten in their last seven matches, ahead of the second leg at the Expo ’70 Stadium in Osaka on September 16.

For most of the first half, Brazilian forward Leonardo – playing from the inside-left channel – proved a thorn in the side of the 2008 winners, and went close twice in the first 30 minutes of the match. 

The best chance of the first half fell to Lee Dong-gook, though, who headed narrowly wide from a tantalizing cross by Choi Chul-soon.

After the half-time break, Gamba showed more of the form that got them into the last eight of the competition, with Brazilian striker Patric 10 minutes after the restart following some good work by Takashi Usami.

As the second half progressed, play became more and more stretched and on 65 minutes Won-Jae Park played in Dong-gook, but the striker could only direct the lay-off wide of the back post.

Leonardo continued to be the most likely to break the deadlock and with 12 minutes remaining on the clock, directed a powerful shot from 25 yards out towards Masaaki Higashiguchi’s goal, but the Gamba stopper did well to push the on-target shot wide with a diving save.

Jeonbuk continued to press forward in the closing stages of the match but were unable to muster another clear chance.