Kawasaki Frontale 4-1 Gamba Osaka

Gamba Osaka entered this game against the champions looking for a win to boost their form going into the final game. With Yuki Ono on the bench, and both Gen Shoji and Yuya Fukuda in the starting line-up, it was good news to see players returning from injury, but it was not to be a day that belonged to Gamba, as they saw an undeserved 4-1 defeat at the hands of the hosts.

Early goals came fast from Leandro Damiao, flicking home a near post cross, and then Reo Hatate stooping to head home off the post, an open goal, completely unmarked. 2-0 to the home team in under 10 minutes. And then Gamba finally woke up. Their pressing game in midfield yielded the ball and Patric cleverly back-heeled the ball into the path of Takashi Usami, who then went on a winding run, before flicking the ball over the onrushing 'keeper while surrounded by three defenders. It was superb work from Usami, showing what could be happening for him and this club if not for so much illness and injury this season.

Yosuke Ideguchi then came so close to bringing the teams level just before the half time whistle, exchanging passes with Patric and then slipping the ball across and past the goalkeeper, but seeing it trickle just wide of the far post. 2-1 down at the break but unlucky to not be in a better position after such a bad start to the game.

10 minutes after the restart Gamba were again unlucky to not level the game as Usami headed a Yuya Fukuda cross onto the bar as the helpless defence looked on, and the home team rode their luck again as Gamba looked for an equaliser. Seven minutes later and it was Patric's turn to test Jung Sung-ryong in the Frontale goal, having trouble with a shot form Gamba's burly Brazilian, but just managing to push it to safety.

All the attacking play tired Gamba, and also left spaces, and eventually they were undone by another Leandro Daniao near post flick, and then allowed space for Shintaro Kurumaya to head home another just before the final whistle. A game that could have been won, was eventually lost by three goals but the scoreline did not reflect the game itself... and so, on to the final game of the season, against Satoshi Yamaguchi's Shonan Bellmare next week.

Team - Higashiguchi, Yanagisawa (Miura, 79), Suganuma, Shoji, Fujiharu, Ideguchi, Okuno (Yamamoto, 89), Onose (Wellington Silva, 79), Usami (Nakamura, 89), Fukuda (Ono, 66), Patric

SCORER: Takashi USAMI 17'