• Kyodo


J. League leader Gamba Osaka edged Yokohama F. Marinos on penalties Wednesday to set up a meeting in the Nabisco Cup final with JEF United Chiba, which advanced past 2003 champions Urawa Reds in the semifinals.

News photoGamba Osaka defender Tsuneyasu Miyamoto battles Yokohama F. Marinos forward Gral for the ball
during the second leg of the Nabisco Cup semifinals Wednesday at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium.
The Marinos won 1-0 to even the aggregate score 1-1, but Gamba advanced 4-1 on penalties.

Goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya was the hero of the rainy night at Nissan Stadium as Gamba beat Marinos 4-1 on penalties after losing 1-0 on the night, while Chiba drew 2-2 at home on its way to a 5-3 aggregate win.

Gamba made the Nabisco Cup final for the first time. Chiba will make its first appearance in the final in seven years when it squares off with Gamba at Tokyo’s National Stadium on Nov. 5.

In Yokohama, defender Daisuke Nasu scored the only goal of the game with a first-half header but the Gamba defense held out against the home side, which was left to rue a number of missed chances.

Yokohama pushed forward from the outset as it attempted to reverse a 1-0 deficit from the Aug. 31 first leg.

Japan defender Yuji Nakazawa found himself unmarked at the far post but failed to connect with a free kick from Masahiro Ohashi before Dutra rifled a shot that went straight into the arms of Gamba ‘keeper Fujigaya in the 15th minute.

Ohashi put Hayuma Tanaka clean through on the right and the midfielder had an angled shot parried by Fujigaya on the half-hour mark. Nasu then drew the tie level on aggregate when he headed home the resultant corner.

At Ichihara Stadium, Marcus Tulio Tanaka and Tatsuya Tanaka found the net for Urawa after 28 minutes, only to see Chiba equalize with two second-half strikes from Yuki Abe for a 5-3 aggregate win.

Abe headed home a Takenori Hayashi corner three minutes after the break and effectively gave Chiba a spot in the final with an 87th-second goal after slotting home the rebound following his first effort on goal.

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