KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Daniel Schmidt and Vegalta Sendai lost a nail-biter to Gamba Osaka as another round of Japan's J1 League wrapped up over the weekend.
Vegalta Sendai 2-3 Gamba Osaka
A stoppage time goal by Gamba Osaka denied Vegalta Sendai a point as they went on to suffer another at the Yurtec Stadium.
After last weekend's six-goal thriller against Osaka's other team, Cerezo Osaka, Sendai had the chance of claiming an upset win over Gamba, who like their cross-city rivals are in the top half of the standings and challenging for the J1 League crown.
However, things would not go the way of the host as they were behind nine minutes into the game following an own goal from Tatsuya Masushima. Gamba forward Ademilson pushed the ball down the left side before sending a low cross into the area that Masushima would slide in and try to clear away from Shun Nagasawa, who was charging towards the ball. Schmidt appeared to be ready to come out and cut off the pass, but his teammate's leg would deflect the ball into the goal.
Yosuke Ideguchi would double Gamba's lead in the 70th minute when Ademilson's run down the right and cross into the area found the midfielder, who was unmarked, and he fired his shot past a diving Schmidt.
Sendai then mounted a comeback and cut the deficit in the 76th minute. Koji Hachisuka's crossed the ball into the area from the right side and it skipped past a few players before Takuma Nishimura fired in his half-volleyed effort past Gamba goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi.
Kazuki Oiwa levelled the score for Sendai in the 80th minute when he connected on a corner kick from teammate Hirotaka
Mita at close-range.
It appeared both teams would share the points, but Gamba found the game-winner in the first minute of stoppage time when Fabio Aguiar rose up to head in Jungo Fujimoto's free kick.
The lose leaves Sendai in 12th place in the standings with 21 points.
If Sendai were looking for any relief against a middling team next weekend, they had better have a re-think as they will face Vissel Kobe, who have just signed former German international Lukas Podolski.