J.League wrap: Gamba thump Urawa, Sanfrecce stay top
By Football News
Gamba the 2005 J-League champions were winless in their last two league outings heading into the match, however two goals in the final four minutes from Brazilian striker Paulinho capped off a memorable performance.
Hiroyuki Abe got the ball rolling for Gamba with a 15th-minute opener before Leandro doubled the visitors' advantage in the 32nd.
Leandro put the result beyond doubt courtesy of a goal on the hour mark.
And Urawa's evening went from bad to worse when Paulinho completed a brace in the closing stages at Saitama Stadium.
Masanobu Matsunami's men are two points adrift of safety on 28 points after Omiya Ardija destroyed cellar-dwellers Consadole Sapporo 5-0, while third-placed Urawa missed the opportunity to close the gap on the top two.
A 93rd-minute winner from Kota Sameshima helped consolidate Sanfrecce's position atop of the J.League table ahead of Vegalta Sendai.
Vegalta edged Vissel Kobe 2-1 earlier on Saturday to move top temporarily but Sanfrecce returned to the summit with a dramatic 2-1 victory over red-hot Nagoya Grampus.
Kohei Shimizu put Sanfrecce ahead five minutes before the interval but Tulio Tanaka restored parity with a 50th-minute equaliser.
Nagoya, who had won three successive league matches prior to Saturday's clash, were on track to remain unbeaten, however Sameshima's late winner moved Sanfrecce two points clear in the race for the championship.
In other results on Saturday, Cerezo Osaka continued their push away from the relegation zone with a come-from-behind 3-2 win at home to Shimizu S-Pulse, while fourth-placed Jubilo Iwata were held to a goalless draw by lowly Albirex Niigata.
Former Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura netted the decisive goal as Yokohama F. Marinos beat Kashima Antlers, top-three hopefuls Sagan Tosu accounted for Kashiwa Reysol 3-1 and Kawasaki Frontale ran out 2-1 winners at FC Tokyo.