In the Pan-Pacific Championship in Honolulu Hawaii the Houston Dynamo will meet Gamba Osaka from Japan in the finals. Houston easily booked their ticket to the finals with a 3-0 drubbing of Sydney FC, while Gamba Osaka beat the L.A. Galaxy 1-0.
Gamba Osaka 1 Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Gamba Osaka narrowly beat the Los Angeles Galaxy to get the Pan-Pacific Championship final. The game started with a fast pace and Brazilian forward Bare found the back of the net after only 3 minutes of play, burying a left footer just past the reach of Galaxy keeper Steve Cronin. Bare has the distinction in scoring the first goal ever in the inaugural Pan-Pacific Championship. David Beckham played the entire game and even had some heated words with Gamba Osaka’s Lucas after a strong tackle took down Beckham. The Galaxy had a couple of chances in the second half to even the score but Gamba Osaka keeper Yosuke Fujigaya kept the sheet clear. Bare said about the game that, “We expected a tough game from the Galaxy and we got one. We gave them a lot of respect and we are pleased we were able to qualify for the final.” Even though they were shutout the Galaxy received some positive words from coach Rudy Gullit who stated, “I think we played an excellent game. It took us a bit of time to adjust but after 20 minutes we started to play well. We made some mistakes but it is valuable to spend this kind of time with the players.” The Galaxy were playing their first match of the pre-season.
Houston Dynamo 3 Sydney FC 0
Dynamo scored three times in the first half to get the championship game giving hope that a team from the MLS will win the Pan-Pacific Championship. 2007 MLS Cup MVP Dwayne De Rosario scored first in the 27th minute with a scorching shot from 25 yards out. Only a minute later Stuart Holden made the score 2-0 Houston putting a low shot just past the keeper. Hawaiian local boy Brian Chang did not score but set up both the first and third goals. Chang stated, “It was fantastic for me to be able to play in front of my home crowd. For us to get the win and produce a good performance was even better. Hopefully I am saving my goals for the final and we can go on and lift the trophy on Saturday.” To keep Houston with fresh legs Chang was taken off in the 64th minute. Sydney FC coach John Koshima said after the game, “Houston has got some clever players. Houston has got a lot to play for and we are on the way down after our season. We were a bit off the pace in the first half.”
Gamba Osaka will play Houston on Saturday in the Pan-Pacific Championship final, which will be held Saturday night in the Aloha State. In the 3rd place game Sydney FC will play the Los Angeles Galaxy.