Sagan Tosu 1-1 Gamba Osaka
Team - Higashiguchi, Takao (Nakano, 66), Sato, Fukuoka, Kurokawa, Lavi (Ishige, 83), Dawhan (Suzuki, 89), Yamamoto, Juan Alano, Jebali (Usami, 66), Meshino (Yamami, 83)
Gamba traveled to Sagan Tosu on a run that had seen them with just one loss in their last 11 games, and that had come against champions Yokohama F.Marinos, but it took a very late goal to salvage a draw in this match and continue that fine run.
The away team should have taken the lead in the 11th minute after a pinpoint cross from Keisuke Kurokawa found Dawhan, who sent a bullet header goalward but 'keeper Park Il-gyu in the Sagan Tosu goal got a right hand to it and made an excellent save. The busy goalkeeper also did enough to deny Ryotaro Meshino just after the half-hour mark, getting in the way of a strong shot, after Issam Jebali had played the ball into the path of the diminutive striker.
The home team finally saw a hint of the goal just before the break but Yoshiki Narahara's shot was well wide and the teams went into the half on level terms.
Into the second period, and it was Gamba leading the way again, within minutes of the restart, as Meshino took a ball, turned his man on the left wing and cut inside to release a pass to Juan Alano, who saw his short blocked by a desperate but effective defensive lunge.
In the 58th minute the home team saw a chance on a counter-attack, but Kohei Tezuka took too long to line up his shot and Yota Sato came in to block the attempt, but Sagan Tosu finally broke the deadlock in fortunate circumstances moments later, as a long ball over the top of the defence bounced just on the edge of the area, so Masaaki Higashiguchi couldn't use his hands. The incoming Yoichi Naganuma tried a touch but failed to really connect, but this was enough to fool Higashiguchi and the ball bounced free for Naganuma to finish off into an empty net.
Gamba then continued the pattern of possession and attack and Jebali almost equalised immediately, getting on the end of a Juan Alano cross, but his flick went just wide of the post. With time running out Gamba were still looking for the goal that would bring them a point and Hiroto Yamami saw a header go just over the bar and into added time we went.
As the sixth minute of six in added time ticked over, Gamba - in the shape of Yuki Yamamoto - grabbed the ball deep in their own area, and Yamamoto sent a long, hopeful ball upfield. Jebali ensured the ball got into the path of Yamami, still on the halfway line. The substitute took a touch to beat the defender, then a few more touches as he raced down on goal and, as Park came out to narrow the angle the Gamba man swept the ball across and in at the far post to tie the game in the final seconds!
Scorer - Hiroto YAMAMI 90+6'