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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007

Reds, Gamba on Cup collision course


By GUS FIELDING

Sick of the sight of Urawa Reds, Gamba Osaka sets out on the revenge trail again when it meets the J. League champion in the Xerox Super Cup on Saturday.

Gamba heads into the new season's curtain-raiser at Tokyo's National Stadium still licking its wounds after being beaten 1-0 by the Reds at the same venue in the Emperor's Cup final on New Year's Day.

That defeat was Gamba's third in four meetings between the two teams last term and came just weeks after Akira Nishino's men were denied a second successive league crown on the final day of the league campaign at Saitama Stadium.

Gamba is highly motivated to put one over on the Reds, not least because Urawa also beat it 3-1 in last year's Super Cup.

Nishino said he has spent the preseason plotting Urawa's downfall.

"Last year, all we did was set up Urawa for the win, and we have been preparing for the season to get back at them," said Nishino. "Tomorrow, I hope we have the satisfaction of lifting the trophy."

Urawa opens the 2007 campaign at home to promoted Yokohama FC on March 3, while Gamba faces Urawa's neighbors, Omiya Ardija, at Expo Stadium.



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