OSAKA – Ritsu Doan showed his flair before being subbed during Gamba Osaka’s 1-1 draw with Kawasaki Frontale on Sunday in the J. League, while Daichi Kamada set up the opener in Sagan Tosu’s 2-1 home win over Urawa Reds before their impending moves to Europe.
Nineteen-year-old Doan, who scored three goals at the recent Under-20 World Cup in South Korea — including a stunning solo effort against Italy — showed some deft touches with his favorite left foot before he came off in the 64th minute in his last appearance ahead of a loan move to Groningen.
“I’m sorry to be leaving the club at this moment, but I’m grateful to my teammates and all of you for letting me,” said the Gamba youth product before the home crowd at Suita Stadium. “I can stand here thanks to all of you. I’ll do my best over there.”
Kawasaki’s Kengo Nakamura opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when the veteran midfielder bundled a low cross home off a defender. But Gamba equalized through a 68th-minute glancing header from Shun Nagasawa after Yosuke Ideguchi, who made his senior national team debut this month, swung in the cross from the left.
Tosu’s 20-year-old Kamada, another attacking midfielder, who is on the move to Frankfurt, set up Yuji Ono’s diving header in the 65th minute at Best Amenity Stadium from a corner as his team claimed a 2-1 win.
“I’m thankful for the ardent support I received the past two and a half years,” Kamada said. “Sagan were the only team to sign me up out of high school . . . I’ll aim to perform well on the world stage and sell the name of this club. I’m proud to have started my career here.”
Kashiwa Reysol stayed top of the standings after Diego Oliveira’s 88th-minute winner secured a 2-1 home win over struggling Consadole Sapporo, who lost their sixth in a row to drop down to the relegation zone in 16th.
Promoted Cerezo Osaka are two points off the leaders with a 4-2 win at Vegalta Sendai after former Basel striker Yoichiro Kakitani opened the floodgates. Kashima Antlers are two points further back as they moved a place and a point above Gamba to third following a 2-0 home win over bottom side Albirex Niigata.
Former Japan center back Yuji Nakazawa tied the league record of 139 consecutive full-match appearances by players other than goalkeepers as Yokohama F. Marinos moved level on 29 points with Gamba after their 2-0 win at home over Vissel Kobe. Kawasaki is sixth, another three points back.
Jubilo Iwata won their third straight game, beating FC Tokyo 2-0 at home, while Shimizu S-Pulse secured three points for the first time in 10 games with a 1-0 home win over Ventforet Kofu.
Omiya Ardija climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win at Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.