OSAKA – Yasuhito Endo struck a second-half goal to give Gamba Osaka a 1-0 home win over Kyoto Sanga on Wednesday, three days after playing for Japan in a World Cup qualifier against Bahrain.
It was Endo’s third goal of the season as Gamba moved to within four points of Urawa Reds and Nagoya Grampus, who jointly lead the league with 26 points from 13 games.
“We wasted so many chances in the first half, so we wanted to score shortly after the break. Lucas gave me a perfect pass and I had a good trap. All I needed to do was find the net calmly,” Endo said.
“Once I return to the team, I just give my all even if I’m not really fit,” said the midfielder, who played in Japan’s 1-0 win over Bahrain on Sunday.
Japan’s Olympic soccer coach Yasuharu Sorimachi watched the match from the stands at Expo stadium and later said he will have Endo play in Beijing as an over-age player.
In Wednesday’s other game, substitute Danilo headed home a Mitsuo Ogasawara cross in the 66th minute as defending champions Kashima Antlers held off Oita Trinita 1-0 to pick up their first win in eight league matches.
Kashima have also reached 22 points from 13 games.