OSAKA, Japan (AFP) - Gamba Osaka are ready to debunk the myth of goal-shy Japanese football after a 3-0 defeat of Adelaide United at home put them on the verge of winning their first Asian club championship.
"I wish we emerge the winners by having them say, 'Oh, Japanese football is skillful,'" said Gamba midfielder Yasuhito Endo, who scored a goal and set up another in the AFC Champions League final first leg here on Wednesday.
It was "tight defence" which helped fellow J-League side Urawa Red Diamonds to last year's title, he recalled, adding that Gamba had vowed "to pass the ball around and play a fun kind of football from the beginning of this year".
"The 3-0 result is satisfactory but we never know what will happen in football," added Endo, who shares place kicks with Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura for a Japanese national side dogged by a perennial lack of finishing skills.
"I want to see the next match go on like the first leg."
Brazilian striker Lucas drew first blood in the 37th minute before setting up the second goal for Endo six minutes later.
Michihiro Yasuda added a third for the home team after 68 minutes on corner from Endo, whose freekick in the dying minutes was disallowed as striker Roni was adjudged offside. Gamba overwhelmed the bigger Australians 17-3 on goal attempts.
Gamba coach Akira Nishino warned he would insist on "our brand of attacking football" against Adelaide in the decisive return leg Down Under next Wednesday.
"We have won through the series by playing aggressively, hoping to show a difference from last year's champions," said Nishino, whose side finished off Urawa 4-2 on aggregate in the ACL semi-finals.
"We will play still better with a comfortable lead."
Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar admitted that their bid for Australia's first Asian club title faced a "very big mountain to climb, Mount Fuji probably."
The Reds' task is even more difficult given the fact that Gamba has not been beaten, home or away, throughout the 2008 AFC Champions League campaign.
"It's a 3-0 deficit and it will be difficult but stranger things have happened," he said. "We'll go out there and do everything we can. That's all we can really ask for.
"They were really quick and the interchange and passing between their players was extremely good and as for us, we were a bit little timid in that first half," Vidmar added.
"Obviously they created holes in our defence with their passes and that proved very costly for us."
Gamba's scoring spree has crushed the defensive game of Adelaide who had given up only four goals in their previous 10 matches in the Champions League.
"We want to prepare ourselves well enough to show our style further in the away game which I am sure will be fought in tough conditions," added Nishino.
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