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Football mission accomplished for Gamba Osaka

22 December 2008 04:50

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AFP) - Japan's Gamba Osaka say they have accomplished their mission after the Asian champions finished third behind the Europeans and South Americans in the Club World Cup.

Osaka defeated Pachuca of Mexico 1-0 in a third-place play-off Sunday, while Manchester United, the winners over Osaka, overcame a one-man deficit to beat Liga de Quito of Ecuador for the championship.

"We were able to accomplish our mission and fight on a high-level stage. That's what we were destined to do," said Osaka coach Akira Nishino.

"We had to do so as the leaders of Asia."

It was the second straight time that a Japanese club took third place. Last year Urawa Red Diamonds defeated Etoile Sahel of Tunisia here in the third-place playoff.

"Another J-League team was able to fight in the Club World Cup," Nishino said.

The Club World Cup, first organised in its current form in 2005, is an extension of the Intercontinental Cup fought between European and South American champion clubs.

The other continents, however, have been also-rans so far.

The Asian champions put up a fight against Manchester United, losing 5-3 in the semi-finals. They kept their squad unchanged against Pachuca.

Osaka pursued a nice buildup against the Mexicans, with Ryuji Bando sending the ball over the defence into the path of the charging Masato Yamazaki to score in the 29th minute.

"I think we were able to show Gamba Osaka's football," said Yamazaki, who also scored a goal against Manchester United. "I just tried to score whenever I received the ball in my area."

"It gives us a lot of confidence that we finished third in the world," he said.

Nishino said the victory was sweet as the players were tired from their semi-final against Manchester United.

"My players were worn out after the loss to Manchester, but everybody gave their 100 percent," Nishino said.

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Info

0 - 1

Competition
FIFA Club World Cup
Date
21 December 2008
Kick-off
08:30
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
0 - 1

Goals

0 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

Player Bookings
Player Bookings
90'

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