OSAKA – J. League leader Gamba Osaka avoided an embarrassing early exit from the Emperor’s Cup on Wednesday night after a dramatic 7-6 penalty shootout win over second-division Yokohama FC in the fourth round.
Still licking its wounds after a penalty shootout loss to JEF United Chiba in last weekend’s Nabisco Cup final, Gamba looked to be on its way out after Shingi Ono fired Yokohama into a 3-2 lead in the 94th minute, after the match had finished 2-2 in normal time.
But Ryota Miki rescued his side with an equalizer with seconds of extra time remaining and Gamba ‘keeper Naoki Matsuyo emerged the hero when he stopped Yasunori Takada’s spot-kick to ensure his side a place in the fifth round.
It was the second time in the match that Yokohama had victory snatched from under its noses. Yokohama led 2-0 in regulation time, but Satoshi Yamaguchi pulled one back and Japan striker Masashi Oguro hit an 89th-minute equalizer.
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