Usami and Kurata combine for vital Gamba draw

Usami and Kurata combine for vital Gamba draw

Shu Kurata turned up with another vital goal for Gamba Osaka on Sunday, as they earned a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Matsumoto Yamaga on matchday 11 of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League.

Just three weeks after he struck his side’s winner against Shonan Bellmare, the 26-year-old decisively came off the bench to secure a stoppage-time fightback at Matsumotodaira Park Stadium Alwin.

Gamba had been behind since the seventh minute when Obina perfectly controlled a cross from the right before slotting past Masaaki Higashiguchi.

The hosts then stifled their guests until Kurata managed to get onto the end of Takashi Usami’s delivery into the box, the former heading beyond Tomohiko Murayama for a potentially-crucial point in the defence of their title.

Kashiwa Reysol, the other club involved in AFC Champions League quarter-final action earlier in the week, limped back into third place following a 0-0 draw against Montedio Yamagata.

Tatsuma Yoshida’s men barely managed to stay on top of the plucky visitors, with Montedio hitting the woodwork and then having a goal narrowly flagged offside.

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