SUITA, OSAKA PREF. - Diego Oliveira opened his J. League account with a second-half winner as Kashiwa Reysol edged Gamba Osaka 1-0 away in the J. League first division on Friday night.
The Brazilian striker struck with a clinical finish with 19 minutes left at Suita Stadium to earn Reysol their second straight 1-0 victory and lift them up to 10th in the table ahead of Saturday’s games.
Kashiwa and Gamba both have nine points from seven games.
“We got this result from sticking together and running right until the end,” said Oliveira. “We have the potential to be higher up the table and hopefully we can keep this momentum going and keep winning.”
Both sides enjoyed chances in a lively opening, with Gamba’s Shun Nagasawa heading Hiroki Fujiharu’s pinpoint cross wide at the near post before Kosuke Taketomi was just inches away from connecting with a low ball into the danger zone from Junya Ito at the other end.
But it was Kashiwa that made the breakthrough when Oliveira took a pass from Junya Tanaka and turned to mug Oh Jae-suk and Daiki Niwa and smash past Gamba ‘keeper Masaaki Higashiguchi.
“I am delighted to score (my first goal) in a Reysol shirt and that it contributed to us winning the game,” said the 25-year-old Oliveira.
In Friday’s other game, an own goal from goalkeeper Goro Kawanami earned defending champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima a 1-0 win at home to Albirex Niigata, sending them into fourth place on 11 points. Niigata have seven points.