Soccer / J. League

Gamba overpower Sanfrecce to reach League Cup semifinals


Shun Nagasawa and Ademilson each scored a brace as Gamba Osaka powered past Sanfrecce Hiroshima 6-3 on Sunday in the second leg of their League Cup quarterfinal for a 7-4 aggregate win.

After Gamba salvaged a late 1-1 draw in Wednesday’s first leg, Nagasawa cancelled out Yuki Nogami’s second-leg opener with an exquisite flick behind his leg and put his team in front right before the break, slotting home after Hiroshima keeper Takuto Hayashi only managed to save Koki Yonekura’s toe-poke into Nagasawa’s path.

In the 52nd minute, Koji Morisaki curled home a perfect free kick from 25 meters to give Sanfrecce the lead on away goals, but Gamba defender Daiki Niwa nodded home Yasuhito Endo’s header before Brazilian Ademilson got his two goals, curling in off the far right-hand post and showing his dazzling feet before rolling home in the 63rd minute.

“We scored late for a draw in the first leg so I didn’t want to waste that. We showed the type of character we have in coming back from behind,” Nagasawa said.

Hiroyuki Abe scored his side’s sixth on the night with a one-on-one in the 71st minute before Yusuke Minagawa pulled one back for Sanfrecce with a 79th-minute header.

Gamba will now face Yokohama F. Marinos, who won 1-0 at home to Omiya Ardija thanks to a goal from Brazilian Kayke and came through thanks to superior away goals after a 2-2 draw on aggregate.

Toshiyuki Takagi had a double as Urawa Reds hammered Vissel Kobe 4-0 and won 6-1 after two legs. Reds will face FC Tokyo in the other semifinal after they beat J. League bottom side Avispa Fukuoka 2-0 away and 3-1 on aggregate.

The semifinal legs will be played on Oct. 5 and 9.