Gamba Osaka 1-1 Kyoto Sanga
Gamba Osaka went for the points here from the first whistle and it was Dawhan's shot from 20 yards out that was closest to opening the scoring in the first quarter of an hour, as he latched on to a ball slipped into his path after a probing run forward by Shu Kurata. The shot was to close to the 'keeper, but it certainly stung his hands! Less than a minute later it was Gamba custodian Masaaki Higashiguchi in action to deny the away team, as the game opened up. And we saw another chance for the Gamba attack with another minute as the ball started continued to flow end to end, Hideki Ishige denied from close range. The flurry of activity was the highlight of the 1st half, however, and the teams went in level at the break.
It was Ryotaro Meshino who somehow broke the deadlock in the 57th minute after a good move from the Gamba attack had moved in behind the defence, and a low cross from the right was prodded goal-wards by the striker, and it was desperately palmed out by the goalkeeper and, with both players on the floor, and defenders coming in, also, Meshino somehow got a foot to it and scored from his prone position.
Gamba now controlled the ball, and the game, and really should have added a cushion before the unfortunate moment at the end of the game that saw the dropping of two points. Hiroto Yamami was guilty of missing the best chance, before the referee decided that Kyoto Sanga were getting a penalty kick deep into added time. Replays suggested that there was no contact whatsoever by Higashiguchi as the forward crumpled to the turf, but VAR somehow confirmed the decision, the penalty was converted, and two vital points were lost.
Team - Higashiguchi, Miura, Shoji, Fujiharu, Onose, Kurokawa (Kwon, 90+2), Dawhan (Saito, 82), Okuno, Kurata (Wellington Silva, 82), Ishige (Takao, 63), Meshino (Yamami, 63)
SCORER: MESHINO 57'