Gamba Osaka went down to the only goal of the contest, scored by Slovenian hitman Zlatan with just six minutes left on the clock.
In front of 53,148 fans, Gamba, missing key players, struggled to create chances, and it was always going to be the single goal that won this tie. A moment of freedom in he box was enough for Zlatan, while Yasuhito Endo hit the bar with a free kick in he 76th minute and Takashi Usami, looking to add to his impressive goalscoring record this season, had his best chance after Gamba went a goal down, but his additional time shot was straight at the keeper.
Usami had an early half chance in the 12th minute that went over from distance, while Patric's snap shot in the 18th minute beat the keeper, but also the post. Inches wide, the story of the day?
In a makeshift defence for the away team, Shohei Ogura was drafted in at right back with Koki Yonekura and Oh Jae Suk missing, while Jungya Kim was in for Keisuke Iwashita at centre back. While Hiroki Fujiharu was outstanding in the attacking role on the left side, the right definitely lacked something today.
Gamba go into Golden Week with the big ACL clash against Seongnam on Wednesday night. Be there!
Team - Higashiguchi, Ogura (Lins, 87), Niwa, Kim, Fujiharu, Endo, Konno, Omori (Abe, 73), Kurata, Patric (Akamine, 71), Usami