Sat, Jan 02, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Gamba Osaka beat Nagoya Grampus, win Emperor’s Cup

AFP , TOKYO

Yasuhito Endo scored twice and set up another to lead defending champions Gamba Osaka to a 4-1 victory over Nagoya Grampus in the Emperor’s Cup final yesterday.

Brazilian striker Lucas opened the scoring after only six minutes after a quick passing move started by Endo on the left.

Ten minutes later Nagoya leveled when Keiji Tamada sent a long ball into the Osaka area, where Australian Josh Kennedy provided a perfect cross for Naoshi Nakamura to head home.

After a period of sustained Nagoya pressure in the second half, Endo dribbled to the edge of the area on the counter-attack and fired in a left-footer to regain the lead in the 77th minute.

He then exchanged passes with Takahiro Futagawa, who made it 3-1 in the 85th minute before Endo wrapped things up in injury time.

“I believed that we would create scoring chances sooner or later,” said Endo, adding that Nagoya’s tactics meant Osaka “couldn’t play our usual game.”

Osaka coach Akira Nishino noted that “for Nagoya, it was their last chance to qualify for the AFC Champions League, so they played aggressively in the second half.”

Osaka had already qualified for the AFC Champions League by finishing third in the J-League competition.

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