Watanabe's goal came when a half-clearance from the home defence was headed back into the patch of Takahiro Ko, who took his time and picked the pass through to the new Gamba striker, who controlled and shot with two touches. 1-0! Ademilson almost doubled his team's lead minutes before the break, advancing into the goal area and muscling off one defender before another came in and did just enough to see the ball just wide of the 'keeper's left-hand post.
The 2nd half didn't go to plan for Tsuneyasu Miyamoto's men, though as first Nishimnura controlled and poked home from close range to level his team and then Oh Jaesuk headed past his own goalkeeper to give the home team the 2-1 lead, both goals coming within four minutes, the second hitting the net in the 57th minute.
Shu Kurata then had a chance to equalise as he rounded a defender on the edge of the area - he was dragged back but chose to stay on his feet - the wrong choice, it seemed, as his fair play was penalised by an excellent save from the 'keeper to keep his team ahead. Kurata then combined with Jungo Fujimoto in the 90th minute - after a Genta Miura cross was half-cleared - but Fujimoto's deft shop landed on the top of the net and the home team hung on to take all three points.
Team - Higashiguchi, Oh (Fujiharu, 67), Miura, Fabio, Suganuma, Endo (Fujimoto, 77), Ko, Kurata, Onose (Meshino, 81), Ademilson, Watanabe
Goal - Kazuma WATANABE 27'