Gamba Osaka 2-1 F.C. Tokyo
Gamba 'keeper Masaaki Higashiguchi was the first of the custodians called into action early game, saving a shot from Kosuke Ota before debutant Kazunari Ichimi came close for the home team at the other end, swinging at a cross from Genta Miura - after he made space between two defenders - but the ball came off his standing leg for a goal kick.
Back up the other end of the field and Higashiguchi again saved his team, getting both hands to a snap shot from former Gamba midfielder Kotaro Omori, and the end to end play continued with Gamba finally making the breakthrough as two defenders combined in the opposition box to convert a teasing Yasuhito Endo cross from the right. Miura got a head to it before Fabio bundled the bouncing ball over the line from close range to give Gamba an encouraging 1-0 half time lead.
Cayman Togashi had two chances to level the game for F.C. Tokyo as the 2nd half progressed. The first, just two minutes into the period saw another fine save from Higashiguchi and then midway through the half Togashi missed making full contact on a free header in front of goal. Unmarked, but wasteful, thankfully for the Gamba defence.
Shu Kurata then came so close to doubling the home team's lead as he raced down the right wing, outpacing his defender then cut into the area, unleashing a bullet that almost shattered the post! Gamba were left regretting their missed chances in the 86th minute when Diego Oliveira took a ball with his back to goal and in one motion dragged the ball back to beat two defenders. He then sidestepped a third before blasting into the roof of the net from close range to - seemingly - save a point for his team.
It seemed that, once again, Gamba had let a lead go with a late goal, but Ademilson was not accepting that, and his goal from the edge of the area in the 95th minute sent the home crowd crazy and gave Gamba a well-deserved, and very vital three points!
Team - Higashiguchi, Miura, Suganuma, Fabio, Oh, Endo, Kurata (Onose, 76), Fujimoto (Takae, 72), Ko, Ichimi (Yonekura, 81), Ademilson
Attendance - 24,879