Sunday’s FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008 quarter-final in Toyota City represents an early reunion between old sparring partners. Adelaide United and Gamba Osaka last met just a month ago in the two-legged AFC Champions League final. The prize for the winner of the eagerly-awaited rematch is a semi-final clash with Manchester United.
Adelaide United-Gamba Osaka, Toyota City, Sunday 14. December, 19.30 (local)
Adelaide edged past Waitakere United 2-1 to book a quarter-final berth. Daniel Mullen and Travis Dodd netted for the Australians, who are now bent on revenge against the Japanese side after Osaka rattled up a 5-0 aggregate victory in the final of Asia’s most prestigious club competition. Naturally enough, Gamba start Sunday’s match as favourites.
It will be the third time that teams from the same confederation have crossed swords at a FIFA Club World Cup. In 2000, Corinthians won an all-Brazilian final 4-3 on penalties against Vasco da Gama, and at the 2007 event, Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds defeated Sepahan of Iran 3-1 in the quarter-finals.
3 - In the two-legged AFC Champions League final, Gamba Osaka’s Brazilian star Lucas fired three of his side’s five goals against Adelaide, leaving the Australian outfit in no doubt about the striker’s deadly talents.
Gamba midfielder Michihiro Yasuda will be 21 on 20 December, although his best birthday present would arrive some two days earlier in the event of his side making it to the semi-finals. "I’ve been a Manchester United fan for many years, and now we’re in with a chance of playing them,” Yasuda confided to FIFA.com.
"Gamba are a very good team and it’ll be incredibly tough for us. We’re really looking forward to it, because it’s our final. We have nothing to lose, and every chance of coming off at the end as winners. The prospect of a semi against Manchester United is an extra motivating factor, and that’s our big target," Paul Reid, Adelaide United midfielder
"It’s our third match against Adelaide United in a short space of time. On the one hand, that makes it easier, but on the other, it makes it harder too. Either way I’m looking forward to our first game at the FIFA Club World Cup," Yasuhito Endo, Gamba Osaka midfielder