Koki Yonekura was Gamba Osaka’s hero as he struck a stoppage-time winner to help his team defeat Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 in the AFC Champions League quarter-final second-leg.
The Japanese domestic Treble winners were in charge of their own fates following their 0-0 first-leg draw in Jeonju, though things had threatened to go wrong for them early on at Banpaku Stadium on Wednesday.
Leonardo struck the visitors’ opener from the penalty spot after only 13 minutes to ensure the climb would be uphill for Gamba, though Kenta Hasegawa’s men reacted a minute later through Patric, who gobbled an easy tap-in.
Shu Kurata then got the home crowd on their feet with a long-range drive that left Jeonbuk goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae with absolutely no chance.
But to the horror of the supporters, the Koreans struck an 88th minute equaliser through Urko Vera, who powered home a header, handing his side the advantage on away goals.
Yonekura ultimately saved the day, however, as he bundled home the ball from close range in the third minute of stoppage time to wrap up the match at 3-2 and seal his side a famous victory.
Gamba will now face Guangzhou Evergrande in the semi-finals at the end of September.