Gamba played some great possession football against their visitors and a nice move on the left saw Fukuda create space and cross to the far post for Kosuke Onose to head down low and force a save from Daiya Maekawa in the Vissel Kobe goal. But the breakthrough soon came as Patric and Takashi Usami combined down the left channel, with Gamba's no.33 slipping the ball back to the big Brazilian to side-foot the ball home from just inside the area.
Moments after the goal another fine move split the away defence and Usami bore down on goal and appeared to be taken out from behind. the penalty appeals were loud and numerous, but the referee thought otherwise! The score remained 1-0 to the home side at the break, despite Vissel Kobe's Leo Osaki poking the ball in at the far post from a flicked on corner, the offside decision an easy one for the Assistant Referee.
Gamba took up where they left off in the second period and moments after the restart Usami saw his effort saved after a move started by Okuno deep in his own half and a final pass from Patric creating the opening. Maekawa then denied Onose after a superb move created space and the Gamba player's crisp half volley was beaten out by the busy Vissel 'keeper. That goalkeeper was saved by a defender just before the hour mark when some quickfire passing from the Gamba team, up in numbers, saw the move end with an Usami shot heading for the far corner. Denied again!
Despite the importance of the game and the closeness of the scoreline, Gamba manager Miyamoto did not flinch as he brought on18-year-old Shoji Toyama for his J1 debut in the 83rd minute, and even added Shuhei Kawasaki in additional time as he continued to give the youngsters game experience. There was no fairy take debut goal for Toyama but he has been unveiled to J1 now!
Team - Higashiguchi, Takao, Suganuma, Kim, Onose (Kawasaki, 90+2), Fukuda, Okuno, Yamamoto, Kurata (Yajima, 84), Patric (Toyama, 84), Usami (Watanabe, 77)
Scorer: PATRIC, 27'