With Takashi Usami and Ademilson both missing injured, it was left to Kazuma Watanabe to take the forward position and he took it in his stride with the opening goal of the game in just the 5th minute, as he latched onto a blistering Kosuke Onose shot that came back off the bar, Watanabe finishing well after finding himself in the right place at the right time. Hiroki Fujiharu was the real architect of the goal, chasing down a ball that the defender was trying to allow to roll out of play by the corner flag. Fujiharu grabbed the ball and slipped it back to a supporting cast that included Onose, who took the chance to unleash a fierce drive that hit the bar, bounced on the line, then fell kindly for Watanabe to finish. The shot hit the bar twice after bouncing back up, before Watanabe side-footed it home.
The away team found the equaliser just after the break when the diminutive Ryota Oshima pounced on a weak header from Leandro Damiao that was going wide, the number 10 slipping the ball back across Masaaki Higashiguchi in the Gamba goal and in at the far post. 12 minutes later Leandro Damiao gave his team the lead taking a ball with his back to goal and turning Genta Miura to slip a shot on the turn across Higashiguchi for an unlikely lead,
Gamba were deservedly back in the game a moment later when Yuya Fukuda and Shu Kurata combined in the middle of the park and the latter player slipped the ball out to the right and headed into the area. The cross duly came, a deft chip from Onose and Kurta headed powerfully hone. At the same time Kyohei Noborizato came steaming in, much too late, and his head connected with Kurata's face as the goalscorer powered the header home. Kurata went down in a heap, seemingly unconscious for a few seconds, and was eventually stretchered off.
Gamba almost took the win in the final seconds as a floated Kim Young-gwon reached Patric, but the away 'keeper was brave and forced the ball away, even as the offside flag went up, and then the final whistle sounded and the points were shared.
Team - Higashiguchi, Takao, Miura, Kim, Fujiharu (Susaeta, 62), Yajima, Ideguchi, Onose, Kurata (Takae, 68), Fukuda, Watanabe (Patric, 87)
Kazuma WATANABE 5'
Shu KURATA 65'