Urawa Reds 1-1 Gamba Osaka
The 1st half of this game was a give and take, push and pull contest with neither tea seeing a clear view of goal, and shots from distance were the order of the day. 0-0 at the break. Patric replaced Shirai for the 2nd half to add some experience up front and the away team started to create space and half chances, with Takashi Usami fizzing a shot from the edge of the area just past the post, as the grateful 'keeper looked on helplessly. Minutes Yuichi Hirano did the same at the other end, as the game opened up a little.
Masaaki Higashiguchi was finally forced into action on the hour mark as a fine pass set Koya Yuruki free in the box, but the Gamba veteran goalkeeper was equal to the shot.
With 20 minutes to go Yuya Fukuda returned to the field after a long injury absence and his dynamic play as soon in evidence, one shot from the edge of the area bouncing just past the 'keeper's right-hand pst as Gamba looked improved as the game edged towards a climax. And what a climax it was! Firstly, Suganuma was adjudged to have handled the ball, even though it seemed to have bounced off his body onto his arm. Five-and-a-half minutes after the initial incident Ataru Esaka converted the PK to give the home side a fortunate lead. But the game was not yet over! Straight from the re-start the ball was forwarded to Patric, who tried to beat his defender and shoot, but the referee pointed to the spot - again - this one a lot more obvious, as Takuya Iwanami handled the ball. Patric duly dispatched the PK for a little justice, as Gamba pulled level.
Even after this late salvo Higashiguchi was forced into two saves in added time, and then Gamba saw the final whistle go as they passed around on the edge of the Reds' area looking for space to win the game. Final score, 1-1, points shared.
Team - Higashiguchi, Takao (Yanagisawa, 70), Suganuma, Sato, Fujiharu, Ideguchi, Yamamoto (Okuno, 84), Kurata (Onose, 62), Wellington Silva (Fukuda, 70), Shirai (Patric, 46), Usami
Scorer: PATRIC 90+4' (PK)