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Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Man Utd-Gamba Osaka as it happened

Club World Cup semi-final result:

Manchester United 5-3 Gamba Osaka


By Sam Lyon

Get in touch via text on 81111 (with "FOOTBALL" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

1232: The final word, then, goes to the legend that is our man out in Japan, Steve Wyeth... I trust you lot will be back on Sunday to see what might just be another goal-fest as United face Quito in a match that will see the victor crowned world champions - worthless distraction or the ultimate prize in football, it promises to be one blooming entertaining show! See ya.

"Blimey. You can't say that wasn't value for money - 5-3 might seem like a crazy score, but it was entirely in keeping with what an open game it was. Gamba exposed a couple of defensive frailties at the end, but the outcome was never really in doubt. From what I saw of Quito, who United play in the final, in last night's other semi, there's little doubt United will be crowned World Champions on Sunday. Can you put a commentators curse on a team via the internet?"
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

"My F5 key is worn down to some sort of stubby plastic mess."
mclaren_out on 606

"Who says the Club World Cup is a waste of time? I bet neutrals were loving this game!"
The Anderson, Rafael and Fabio Posse(bon)! on 606
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"Well you can question the prestige of the World Club Cup, but you can't question the entertainment!"
Anon via text

1222 - FULL-TIME: Man Utd 5-3 Gamba Osaka
That's it. A breathless end to a brutally open match that ultimately sees United into Sunday's Club World Cup final against Liga de Quito of Ecuador. Is it too early to have a beer do we think? Ah come on... it's Christmas!

1220 - GOAL! Man Utd 5-3 Gamba Osaka
Oh come on, this is ridiculous haha. Those of you who tipped Osaka to fall away the longer the match went on can coolly take a big bite out of your humble pie as Hideo Hashimoto strides onto the ball on the right-hand side and lashes a rocket past Van der Sar to further reduce Osaka's deficit and make it six goals in 17 minutes. The crowd go ballistic, Ferguson looks like someone's broken into his house at Christmas and spat on his kids.

1218: Shoot on sight appears to be the policy of both sides and the crowd are lapping it up like a thirsty dog drinking from a water bowl on a hot summer's day. Endo and Rooney try their luck from all of 30 yards at opposite ends of the pitch and, as we move into stoppage time, neither side shows any sign of letting up. Could there be more goals?

"What a match! This is really making the last couple of days of school fun! I'm reading the action in an art lesson - and I'm the teacher!"
Anon via text

"This has suddenly gone all Looney Tunes."
Ryushinku on 606
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1214 - GOAL! Man Utd 5-2 Gamba Osaka
Listen, will you boys in Japan give me a break? Yashuhito Endo lazily clips a penalty into Van der Sar's corner to reduce Osaka's deficit after Gary Neville handled Ryuji Bando's cross in the box. It is fair to say this game is, quite literally, more open that a very open thing that is the very opposite of something that is not at all open.


1210: There are huge gaps in the Osaka defence now, but up the other end Endo forces another one-for-the-cameras save from Van der Sar with a long-ranger. United march up the other end in their attempts to make it six but Rooney and Fletcher fluff a decent opening.

"Well United's nerves were jangling for all of 30 seconds there. Gamba deserved their goal but that merely awoke United from their second half nap with three goals in four minutes. Rooney had been on the pitch four minutes when he scored his second, then promptly got himself booked. That's Rooney for ya!"
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

1208 - GOAL! Man Utd 5-1 Gamba Osaka
Make that four goals in five minutes, then, Wayne Rooney adding a second to his earlier strike with a fabulous finish from Ryan Giggs's through-ball. United scoring at will, now, and frankly they are not paying any consideration to my attempts to keep you all as updated as possible. Selfish.

1207 - GOAL! Man Utd 4-1 Gamba Osaka
That should put it to bed nicely, Evra and Nani linking up well on the left and Darren Fletcher getting on the end of a fine cross to head home United's fourth.

1206: Blimey, this game has exploded back into life - Endo trying his luck from 25 yards and forcing Van der Sar into a clumsy save, Gary Neville desperately clearing from yards out under pressure from Hashimoto.

1204 - GOAL! Man Utd 3-1 Gamba Osaka
Well it was nice while it lasted for Osaka as Wayne Rooney marks his introduction in emphatic style, the striker latching onto a long through-ball from Fletcher, turning the defender and clipping in with his first touches of the match.

1203 - GOAL! Man Utd 2-1 Gamba Osaka
Well well well, United switch off completely and Osaka make the most of it to get themselves firmly back into the match and send their supporters into apoplectic bliss - Masato Yamazaki getting on the end of a sweeping move and curling past Van der Sar and into the corner from 20 yards. A fine strike.

1201: As the pace slows to something more akin to an exhibition match, Ferguson decides now is the time to throw on the man who doesn't understand the phrase "half pace" - Wayne Rooney.

"I know they're playing with nothing to lose, but it'd be great if some Premier League teams would take a leaf out Gamba's book for the way they've gone about taking on one of the "Big Four". More entertaining than setting up camp in your own half. By the way - the locals have been keen to tell us about Endo's ability with free-kicks. Forced Van der Sar into "one for the cameras" there."
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

1158: ...and Scholes is soon followed onto the substitutes bench by Nemanja Vidic, with Jonny Evans coming on to replace the Serbian defender. Those couple of substitutions have just upset the rhythm of this match a bit, despite Osaka continuing to probe.

1155: First change of the night as Paul Scholes is replaced by Darren Fletcher.

1153: Close! Yashuhito Endo lines up a free-kick 25 yards out and he brings the best out of Van der Sar with a whipped right-footed effort, Bando following up and drilling the rebound narrowly over the bar. Osaka are not quite out of this yet.

1149: Good news Man Utd fans as Vidic comes back onto the field showing no ill-effects from that groin problem moments ago. John O'Shea is among the United substitutes warming up - Wayne Rooney, who looks more relaxed than a snail on Prozac, stays in the comfort of the substitutes hutch.

1147: Class. Anderson controls in midfield and almost slips in Tevez with a dreamy through-ball, the Argentine narrowly failing to get to the ball ahead of the outcoming keeper.

"Nooo we do not need any injuries on this trip..."
Seb on 606
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1146: Ryuji Bando has really been Osaka's brightest spark out there and he forces a desperate block from Gary Neville with a rasping 20-yarder - but it looks like very worrying news for United as Vidic cries out in pain with what looks like a groin injury, stretching to clear an Osaka cross. Hhmm...

1144: It comes to nothing, though, as the man at the near post clears. Considering the first half, that's a major let-off.

1142: Good break from Ryan Giggs and, guess what, it's a corner...

"I think Osaka need to take a Gamba-l to get back into this."
Talbz, Birmingham via text

"Is it just me or have there been some poor decisions today? Tevez was never offside there..."
Rafael4Brazil on 606
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"Judging by your comments from users below, is it just me that hasn't played a football tournament in Asia then?"
Tom, bored at work, thinking of going to Asia - do they have KFC over there? via text

1139: Great work from Patrice Evra and he looks to have set Tevez through on goal - but the offside flag is up. Tevez sticks it in anyway, but it won't count.

1138: Blimey - Nani almost hits back at his critics in immediate fashion as he strides into the box and almost sets Giggs up in front of goal, but his cross is cleared and, moments later, it is Scholes's turn to have an effort blocked. Osaka survive, for now...

"By the way, I have to agree with the comment (below) from kinsang on 606. Nani was heralded as perhaps having even more potential than Ronaldo when he first arrived. However, he's only a year or so younger, and look what Ronaldo did last season..."
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

1135: We're back under way...

1134: ...and now United stroll out, looking as if they are stepping onto a Caribbean beach in their swimming shorts with a Daiquiri in their hands - pure relaxation. Ronaldo spies a TV camera and indulges in a bit of horseplay and preening. If only he'd come out of his shell and not be so shy...

1132: Gamba Osaka are out in anticipation of the second half and as they await United's appearance gather together for a huddle and quick team-talk - I'm guessing it will be along the lines of "Erm, lads, let's not give away any more corners huh?". Except it would be in Japanese, obviously.

"On a separate note, I'm starting to really worry about Nani. Last season he was either good or OK, this season he is either OK or poor. Seems to have really gone off the boil."
kinsang on 606
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"Don't think you'd need to watch Gamba too much to know they're fragile from set pieces. Two Giggs corners from the right, two headed goals. If Vidic's opener settled United down, Ronaldo's on the stroke of half-time might well see them ease down in the second half."
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

"I remember playing in a tournament in Japan and... their stamina is what always let the home teams down. Overall they are good teams over there, but they're just not built for running around for 90 minutes. I expect Man Utd to win 5-0 or 5-1."
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1117 - HALF-TIME: Man Utd 2-0 Gamba Osaka
Just enough time for Osaka to restart and that'll be the break. Comfortable in the end that half for United, but as Steve Wyeth point out below, not the most passionate of celebrations to greet either goal from the United side. Still, Sunday's final beckons.

1116 - GOAL! Man Utd 2-0 Gamba Osaka
Easy as you like as Cristiano Ronaldo peels away from his marker to rise and head in Ryan Giggs's corner from 12 yards out. Poor marking but Ronaldo showed good movement and he had to get plenty on his header to send it past Fujigaya in the Osaka goal.

1115: Tevez spins in the box but his shot is deflected wide. Vidic makes his way forward for the corner...

1114: More probing from the Osaka side and a fine, whipped cross almost finds Ryuti Bando but the midfielder cannot rise to meet the ball and the chance goes awry. In his defence, he is giving away about a foot in height to most of the United defenders - someone pass that man a step ladder. Moments later he latches onto a misplaced Ferdinand pass but again is closer to taking out a fan in row Z than he is troubling Van der Sar as his effort flies off-target.

1110: Lucas - one of only two non-Japanese players in the Osaka squad - sends a 25-yarder high, wide and not very handsome past the United goal.

1108: United starting to spray the ball about with real class, now, and Osaka's early fervour has been dimmed somewhat by that Vidic header. Fergie's men will welcome a time-out, you feel, they certainly won't want to run themselves into the ground here if they can avoid it.

"Anderson - Oh dear. Class at everything except, erm, scoring goals."
Fredthered on 606
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1103: Anderson - still without a competitive goal in a Manchester United jersey - misses a golden chance to grab his first, getting on the end of Ronaldo's brilliant cross but glancing a header tamely away from goal six yards out. Game here for the taking for United, I would think.

1101: Still Osaka stick to their attacking principles and this time Michihiro Yasuda causes a brief moment of alarm to the United backline, only for his final pass to go awry with Lucas in a threatening position.

"Think Gamba may have paid the price for their adventurous approach there. Too easy for United as Tevez released Ronaldo. His shot might have been blocked behind for a corner but, once Giggs plonked it on Vidic's head the outcome was inevitable. Muted celebrations though, don't you think?"
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

1058 - GOAL! Man Utd 1-0 Gamba Osaka
And there's the deadlock broken, Ryan Giggs's pinpoint corner headed in from six yards by a towering Nemanja Vidic. Sir Alex Ferguson breaks out the old-man-dancing-at-a-wedding body-popping and that should settle his side down nicely.

1057: Lovely break from Man Utd, Tevez sweeping out to Ronaldo on the right wing, the Portuguese star stepping inside and driving at goal only for Sota Nakazawa to deflect it behind for a corner.

"Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas this year is the Club World Cup! I've been a very good boy this season..."
philhyde2001 on 606
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1052: The first quiet period of the match as both sets of players take a breather, which may suit United who are looking more and more comfortable as this match goes on.

"Nice to see Gamba showing United zero respect, taking the game to them and making this a very open game. Ronaldo nearly scored at the end of the move of the match so far, but Van der Sar has made the only meaningful save from Bando, who might have done better."
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

1050: Right, take a breath everyone. A more frantic opening you won't have seen since Dale Winton cut the opening-day ribbon at my local Lidl I tell you. The crowd are loving it, mixing a hail of drum beats in between indeterminable songs and chants - brilliant stuff.

"This game is mad open!"
The Adventures Of Giuseppe Rossi on 606
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1047: Missed opportunity for United as Tevez, eight yards out, fails to square for Giggs or Nani - both unmarked - in front of goal and Osaka clear.

1045: Twinkle-toed dribbling from Ronaldo - sign that man up for Strictly Come Dancing - but the Portuguese winger lashes high and wide after skipping across the Osaka box. That doesn't stop the home crowd deliriously cheering like schoolgirls on a sugar rush, mind, they love him here. Almost as much as the Real Madrid directors in fact.

1042: Erm, not Ronaldo-time - his free-kick is tame and Fujigaya makes a comfortable save - but the same can't be said of Van der Sar who has to pull off a smart low stop to keep out Ryuji Bando's driven effort from inside the box. Best chance of the game so far and Osaka, indeed, are looking anything but a pushover at the moment.

1040: Let-off for United as Lucas's pass looks to have put Yasuda through but he is flagged offside. United up the other end and they have a free-kick. Ronaldo-time?

"I can't believe that the game is this open already."
eirebilly on 606

1037: I tell you what, this is a pacy start from both sides and Cristiano Ronaldo pings an early effort straight at Osaka keeper Yosuke Fujigaya to almost send the crowd apoplectic - their enthusiasm is rather brilliant isn't it?

"Ahhh this takes me back to the heady days of the World Cup in 2002. Mid-morning football is great."
RetroGirl on 606
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1034: United storm up the other end and Carlos Tevez looks to play Ryan Giggs in yards from goal, but the Welshman is caught offside. Osaka reply with another long-ranger from Michihiro Yasuda - have they seen a vulnerability in Van der Sar's technique?

1032: Ooh, it's a busy ol' start from Osaka - who finished 8th in the J-League by the way - and an early effort from Tmokazu Myojin from 25 yards is well saved by Van der Sar low to his right.

1030: And we're under way...

"United coming out to warm up was enough to set the flash blubs off, and have most of the 80,000-odd supporters on their feet, so the reception for the match should be pretty special. Quite a few United songs can be heard around the ground too. Either plenty have made the trip from England, or these Japanese United supporters are quick learners."
BBC Sport's Steve Wyeth at the Yokohama Stadium

1027: The players are making their way out at the Yokohama International Stadium - venue for the 2002 World Cup final - and I just have time for a quick word on United's last appearance in this competition. They kicked off with a 1-1 opening draw against Necaxa, a match that saw two saved penalties, two goals and a David Beckham dismissal - here's hoping for an equally action-packed match here huh?

"It's another trophy, and permission to call ourselves world champions - of course its worth it! That is, as long as we win, and without other results back home suffering!"
Vic, Durham via text

"Is it churlish to say I'm 100 times more excited about tomorrow's Champions League draw than this World Club Cup exhibition mickey-mouse-don't-get-injured-Fifa-badly-organised-competition?"
Iain, Leamington Spa via text

"I can't really feel too sorry for United's 'jet-lagged' stars... I'm sure they flew in the most unbelievable luxury money can pay for. Try sleeping on a packed economy class Japan Air flight between screaming kids in seats that were designed in a country with an average height of 5'7" before complaining!"
illuma_kid on 606

1016: More then on Ronaldo, who has an immediate opportunity to prove his loyalty to Manchester United following claims from Real Madrid that they have in place an agreement to sign the Portuguese winger in the summer. United have denied these claims vigorously - and rather colourfully - apparently. What do we think?
Man Utd deny Real's Ronaldo claim

"Don't be fooled; I've played against a few teams from these parts of Asia and they are technically very good, with excellent fitness and team work."
Little Devil on 606

"I'm a bit apprehensive about this match... look at all the household names on the Osaka team sheet..."
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"Sam, we become the best team in the world if we win this tournament."
TheOnlyManc on 606

1012: By the way, United are playing for the right to face Liga de Quito in Sunday's final after the Ecuador outfit's win over Mexico's Pacucha 2-0 on Wednesday. I know where my money's at...

1010: So, Wayne Rooney starts on the bench after apparently suffering a minor knock in training on Tuesday, meaning Carlos Tevez starts up front with able support from Cristiano Ronaldo - more on him in a minute - Ryan Giggs, Nani, Paul Scholes and Anderson. All in all, a very strong line-up. Gamba's main threat is expected to come from Yasuhito Endo and Brazilian forward Lucas. But then you knew that already didn't you?

"Good, Nani is getting a game. Also good idea to keep Rooney fresh for PL matches."
skillachi on 606
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1007: Before we get into that - a look at the teams...

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Anderson, Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo, Tevez.
Subs: Kuszczak, Rafael Da Silva, O'Shea, Evans, Carrick, Fletcher, Gibson, Park, Welbeck, Rooney, Amos.

Gamba Osaka: Fujigaya, Kaji, Nakazawa, Yamaguchi, Endo, Michihiro Yasuda, Myojin, Hashimoto, Bando, Lucas, Yamazaki.
Subs: Matsuyo, Shimohira, Terada, Futagawa, Kurata, Takei, Roneliton.

Referee: Benito Archundia Tellez (Mexico)

1005: Of course, that's the cynical view - ask Ryan Giggs and he counts United's Intercontinental Cup win over Palmeiras in 1999 (which, contrary to newspaper reports was not the Club World Cup) as "the toughest competition to win" out of all his 19 trophies and that victory in this year's competition in Japan "would be very special". What do you lot reckon?
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1000: I tell you what you probably need when you're already heavily involved in a battle for the Championship, the Champions League, the Carling Cup and with the FA Cup third round on the horizon post-Christmas - a Club World Cup championship on the other side of the world that no-one is really sure how prestigious it is. Enter stage left - Manchester United.

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see also
Gamba Osaka 3-5 Man Utd
18 Dec 08 |  Man Utd
Man Utd v Gamba Osaka photos
18 Dec 08 |  Man Utd

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