Oita Trinita 0-1 Gamba Osaka
Once again the team began with four backs and with a little rotation in the squad, through the necessity of an injury to Gen Shoji and the continued absence of Genta Miura, as well as Horoki Fujiharu. Shunya Suganuma lined up alongside Kim Young-gwon as centre back, with Ryu Takao and Yuya Fukuda in the full back positions. Kazuma Watanabe got the nod to start up front, with Takashi Usami and Patric both on the bench, alongside four of Tsuneyasu Miyamoto's up-and-coming Under-23 team graduates.
Gamba started out as if they meant business, looking for another away win and Kazuma Watanabe was denied on the quarter-hour mark, then, soon after that good work on the right from Takao teed up Ademilson for the shot, and the ball hit the back of the net. Unfortunately, the referee deemed that Shu Kurata's hand had deflected the ball home and the goal was denied! Ademilson saw another shot saved before the break but the teams went in level at half time.
Patric replaced Watanabe for the 2nd half and soon made his presence felt, rising to head a free kick just over and then another substitute, Usami saw his finish saved at point blank range after good work from Onose to get a low cross in. But the breakthrough that had been threatening finally came from a corner in the 72nd minute, Patric rising like a salmon to head home down low at the far post.
As the game neared its end Masaaki Higashiguchi in the Gamba goal saw more action but nothing was good enough to beat the Japan national team custodian and Gamba took another three points on the road!
Team - Higashiguchi, Takao (Matsuda, 90), Suganuma, Kim, Fukuda, Yamamoto (Yajima, 65), Ideguchi, Onose, Kurata (Tsukamoto, 90+3), Ademilson (Usami, 65), Watanabe (Patric, 46)
Goal: PATRIC 72'