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Gamba salvage draw with Ventforet in season opener

Kyodo

Former Japan international Yasuyuki Konno rescued a point for Gamba Osaka in their J. League season opener on Sunday, scoring a last-gasp equalizer in a 1-1 draw at home to modest Ventforet Kofu.

Kofu took the lead on 55 minutes when Masaru Matsuhashi rifled Yusuke Tanaka’s pass into the top corner from the edge of the area. But Konno, on target in Wednesday’s 3-0 away win to Adelaide United in the Asian Champions League, came up with a crucial leveler, heading in Yasuhito Endo’s free kick in the first minute of injury time.

“If you were to just see the result you would think that we had just managed to snatch a draw, but looking at our performance we should have taken three points,” said Konno.

“We allowed them (Kofu) to dictate the tempo and should have taken our chances. I myself had a chance in the first half and if I had put it away we would have had no problems. It is disappointing.”

Gamba have just two days rest before facing South Korea’s Jeju United in their next ACL game at home on Wednesday night.

“We have got games coming thick and fast. It (today’s result) is disheartening but we have to just have to try and regroup,” said Konno.