The main culprit tonight was Ademilson who seemed, at times, to be be unsure what to with the object at or around his feet. Gamba were almost ahead in the first minute after the little Brazilian had made a good start to the match (little did we know what was to come) forcing a save from the 'keeper, the rebound falling to Shu Kurata who was just wide with the second shot.
Jungo Fujimoto then fed Ademilson in the 16th minute but the striker's shot was weak and across the 'keeper, when a decent shot or a pass across could have counted.
Next up was Fabio, getting on the end of a half-cleared Fujimoto free kick, but his volley was over, when, perhaps, a striker would have buried the chance?
The 27th minute saw the key point of the game, with Kurata slipping a superb pass through to Shun Nagasawa to chip the out-rushing Sogahata in the Antlers' goal. The 'keeper managed to get something on the ball and as it bounced toward goal a defender came in and scrambled the ball clear.
The away team finally got a half chance on the half hour mark but Masaaki Higashiguchi was equal to Atsutaka Nakamura's shot, the Antlers player then leaving a leg in on the 'keeper. Amazingly, there was no card - red or yellow - for the seemingly obviously intentional attempt to hurt the unfortunate goalkeeper. Later on we would see a foul given against Yasuhito Endo after he avoided an intentional flying elbow, and then Daigo Nishi left a foot in on Yosuke Ideguchi, and then rolled around after the contact he had instigated to get a free kick, too.
Anyway, somehow Gamba had not scored, and it was 0-0 at the break, and then, ten minutes into the 2nd half, Gamba were down to that Yasushi Endo goal. It could have been avoided, but the luck of the bounce and then Yasuhito Endo and Kurata trying to - as always with Gamba - play the ball out of trouble, saw an interception that found its way back to the Antlers scorer. A goal to Antlers, and then it was back to normal service with Gamba running the match - the referee ignoring rough play of the away team - and the Antlers goal leading a charmed life!
Fujimoto was the next Gamba player to miss a chance as Nagasawa headed a deep cross back across goal for the former S-Pulse midfielder to side-foot home. But, no, he put it wide from yards out.
The final play of the match told the story of the night, with an Izumisawa header from point blank range hitting Leo Silva, the rebound being blasted right at the 'keeper from two yards out by Kurata, and then the third attempt in as many seconds headed back in by, of all people Higashiguchi, who was up for the corner. That header was stopped on the line by a defender on his knees, and then there was a melee that ended with the referee separating the goalkeepers and the final whistle being sounded.
Team - Higashiguchi, Oh, Miura, Fabio, Fujiharu, Ideguchi, Konno (Endo, 65), Fujimoto (Goya, 87), Kurata, Ademilson (Izumisawa, 72), Nagasawa