Cerezo took the lead on the stroke of half time as a move down the left saw Yusuke Maruhashi seemingly mis-hit his attempted cross, the ball bounding across the turf instead of rising into the air, but Hiroaki Okuno made no mistake with his connection, stroking the ball past desperate lunging defenders to give his team a 1-0 half time lead.
Seven minutes after the break, with Gamba still looking for the goal to bring them level, an Usami corner was met on the volley by Shu Kurata and, once again, Kim in goal was relieved to see it fly wide.
Patric and Yosuke Ideguchi entered the game in the 54th minute - replacing Shinya Yajima and Endo - and Patric was immediately causing problems for the away defence, both Hiroki Fujiharu and the big Brazilian having shots blocked from close range, with Patric also finding space for a header straight at the 'keeper. Just as Gamba seemed to be getting on top of the game, though, Maruhashi got involved again and latched onto a Hroshi Kiyotake lay back to blast home from outside the area to give his team a two-goal cushion well against the run of play.
Gamba did not get discouraged by conceding again and continued to piece moves together, finally earning a breakthrough when a fine move saw a cross to Patric initially cleared, but Kosuke Onose's half volley from the rebound was stopped quite deliberately by the hand of Yasuki Kimoto. A penalty kick was given and Ademilson nonchalantly converted to pull a goal back for the men in blue and black.
Gamba never gave up and an Usami free kick from the right came across invitingly for Genta Miura and Patric but they appeared to get in each other's way and the chance went begging, with the points going to Cerezo.
Team - Higashiguchi, Suganuma (Yamamoto, 81), Miura, Kim, Onose, Fujiharu, Yajima (Ideguchi, 54), Kurata (Ono, 69), Endo (Ideguchi, 54), Usami, Ademilson (Watanabe, 81)
Goal - ADEMILSON 68'