2nd leg - F.C. Tokyo 2-1 Gamba Osaka
Gamba progress to the semi-final on away goals.
Gambe reached the semi-final of the Levain Cup - earning a two-legged semi-final against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, to be played on October 9th (19.00, home) and October 13th (13.00, away).
Gamba manager Tsuneyasu Miyamoto chose to rotate his team a little and rest some players, with Ademilson and Takashi Usami starting on the bench, and Shu Kurata scored the all-important winning goal but it could well have been a 2-0 lead to take into the 2nd leg but for Japan's first-ever VAR-disallowed goal!
Kurata's goal came after Kosuke Onose and Yosuke Ideguchi has persevered on the right wing in pressuring the away defence and Onose came out with the ball after the referee played an excellent advantage with the Assistant Referee flagging, presumably for obstruction as the Tokyo defender tried to smother the ball with his body. Onose advanced, beat a defender despite being pulled back (certainly a penalty kick and perhaps even a red card if he had gone down) and his low cross was turned in by Kurata to give Gamba the 39th-minute lead.
Gamba then thought they were 2-0 up when Leo Takae looked to have the ball in the net, but it was ruled to have not gone completely over the line - by literally millimetres - by a VAR decision - despite VAR supposedly being for decisions leading up to goals and not for actual "goal line technology". As it was, though, Gamba took a slim lead to the J1 leaders for the 2nd leg.
1st leg team - Higashiguchi, Miura, Suganuma, Takao, Onose (Usami, 67), Endo, Ideguchi, Suzuki, Kurata (Yajima, 90), Takae, Patric (Watanabe, 71)
Scorer: Shu KURATA 39'
And so Gamba traveled to Tokyo with a one-goal advantage and looking confident of qualifying for the semi-final of the tournament. The starting XI was unchanged, with Usami and Ademilson on the bench again and as early as the 20th minute Diego Oliveira gave his team some hope as Tokyo took a 1-0 lead to level up the aggregate score. When substitute Kyosuke Tagawa scored for Tokyo to give them a 2-0 lead - 2-1 on aggregate - Gamba manager Miyamoto moved into action and brought on Ademilson (for Kurata) after having already brought on Usami for Takae, as Gamba went for the goal that would see them through on away goals. The substitutions did their job and the attacking play paid off when Patric scored for the away team in the 76th minute.
The goal was enough to win the tie on away goals and give Gamba a Levain Cup semi-final against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, with the games to be played on October 9th (at home) and October 13th (away).
2nd leg team - Higashiguchi, Miura, Suganuma (Aoyama, 81), Takao, Onose, Endo, Ideguchi, Suzuki, Kurata (Ademilson, 72'), Takae (Usami, 58), Patric
Scorer: PATRIC 76'