Gamba started as they were to go on, splitting the home defence and getting a shot in - from Shuhei Akasaki - within eight seconds of the kick off, but it took until the stroke of half time for a five player, six touch move to open up space for Jungo Fujimoto to coolly lob the 'keeper from the edge of the area to give his team the lead.
Despite most of the play Fabio was in position to clear the ball off the line, denying Sapporo the equaliser in the 51st minute, then Yosuke Ideguchi did the same moments later after Masaaki Higashiguchi was felled in a 50-50 challenge with Ken Tokura. For a short spell it was all hands to the pumps for Gamba before normal service was resumed.
Ademilson came on in the 65th minute, for Akasaki, and could have been on the scoresheet immediately after some sublime skill found him space, but his final shot was straight at the grateful goalkeeper. It was the tricky Brazilian who made the pass to Jun Izumisawa for the second goal to seal the game, the former Omiya Ardija man, on as a substitute making no mistake when the sliding defender failed to make contact with the challenge. 2-0, three points!
Team - Higashiguchi, Oh, Miura, Fabio, Fujiharu, Ideguchi, Fujimoto (Izumisawa, 79), Endo (Niwa, 90+5), Kurata, Nagasawa, Akasaki (Ademilson, 65)
45' Jungo FUJIMOTO
89' Jin IZUMISAWA