Gamba too good

Gamba Osaka has secured the Asian Champions League title in style by beating Adelaide United 2-0 at a packed Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday.

Gamba Osaka has secured the Asian Champions League title in style by beating Adelaide United 2-0 at a packed Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday.

Brazilian striker Lucas killed the contest off with an away goal in the first five minutes and then crushed the Reds' spirit by sending another ball into the back of the net 11 minutes later.

It was the perfect conclusion to the two-leg final with the Japanese side taking an early grip on the silverware after they won 3-0 at the Expo '70 Commemorative Stadium in Osaka last week.

The record crowd of 17,000 people was in full voice in the opening moments as United made a number of promising forays into attack. But they were quickly silenced when a defensive error from Sasa Ognenovski opened up the first scoring opportunity.

Ognenovski's clearing header from the box didn't have enough purchase and fell straight in the path of Hayato Sasaki. His quick shot was stopped by a diving Mark Birighitti but the ball spilled free and was swooped upon by Lucas.

A dissecting pass opened up Lucas' next opportunity on the left side of the box. Birighitti came off his line and kept low but the striker timed his release perfectly and beat the teenager on his left.

Apart from the occasional burst of enthusiasm from the Reds, it was obvious Gamba was the superior side.

Their general play was crisp and decisive and there was a great understanding among their players at both ends of the pitch.

Adelaide wasn't as convincing and their defensive line-up, which was without Eugene Galekovic and Ang Costanzo, were confused at times when the pressure was on.

One couldn't fault United's enthusiasm or aggression but too many of their passes were a metre wide of a team-mate and that's all Gamba Osaka needed to create a turnover.

The first-half damage could have been worse for the home side with Gamba Osaka playing with freedom and flare.

Hideo Hashimoto blasted two balls forward but was off target, Lucas nodded one over the crossbar while Michihiro was elusive but knocked one into the side of the net.

In contrast the highlights were few and far between for United. In the 27th minute Cristiano headed the ball across the goal line but the off-side flag went up.

And adding to their frustrations the Brazilian and Michael Valkanis picked up yellow cards.

With the final lost, the grumpy crowd were more relaxed in the second half but it didn't stop their team trying.

They earned two corners in the first 10 minutes and Travis Dodd came to life. He went one-on-one with a Gamba opponent but couldn't get a shot away while he threw his head back in despair as his Kristian Sarkies over-ran his centring ball from the left side.

Cristiano also had a chance to break the drought but he couldn't get a clear kick away in a congested box.

Coach Aurelio Vidmar made three changes after the break with Jason Spagnuolo, Lucas Pantelis and Robbie Younis coming off the bench.

However the changes hardly made a difference with the visitor's unwavering confidence ensuring they were never far away from inflicting more damage to the scoreboard.

They kept attacking until the final minute leaving the home side running ragged.

The final whistle has blown on another ACL tournament but both teams have further international commitments in the Club World Cup starting on December 11.

Adelaide United 0 Gamba Osaka 2 Lucas 5', 15' @ Hindmarsh Stadium. Crowd: 17,000