KASHIWA, CHIBA PREF. - Gamba Osaka claimed their first J. League win of the season Sunday, striker Shun Nagasawa hitting a brace in their 3-1 win at Kashiwa Reysol on the second weekend of the season.
Gamba, who suffered a shock 4-1 home defeat to Jeju United of South Korea in the Asian Champions League on Wednesday, took the lead seven minutes in after the 192-cm striker made room for himself with a cunning run to nod home Hiroki Fujiharu’s cross.
Yusuke Kobayashi volleyed home an emphatic equalizer two minutes into the second half after a corner fell on the edge of the box, but Nagasawa restored the lead 12 minutes later, again sneaking in front of a defender before delicately guiding a cross to the far bottom corner with his left foot.
Brazilian Ademilson put the icing on the cake with a 72nd-minute penalty for Gamba.
“I’m glad to have scored goals that led to the win,” Nagasawa said. “I’m better at touching the ball in front of defenders rather than waiting at the far post.”
Japan coach Vahid Halihodzic was in the stand at Hitachi Stadium and Nagasawa did not hide his desire to put on the national team jersey.
“I have a strong feeling for this year,” he said. “I’ll be glad if that guides me there (the Japan national team).”
In the day’s other game, Kawasaki Frontale shared the spoils with Sagan Tosu after a 1-1 home draw.
Yu Kobayashi opened the scoring seven minutes in with his second goal in two games, the forward robbing the ball in the opposition half before advancing to the area and burying his shot low via a deflection.
Sagan leveled in the 34th minute, Yoshiki Takahashi volleying low past Jung Sung-ryong from outside of the box after a cross was fisted away by the Kawasaki keeper.