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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Bando sparks Gamba in comeback win

KOSE (Kyodo) Ryuji Bando sent Japan coach Ivica Osim a reminder of his goal-scoring talents as Gamba Osaka came from behind to beat Ventforet Kofu 2-1 away in the J. League first division on Saturday.

News photo
Gamba Osaka forward Magno Alves scores the winning goal in the 83rd minute during the J. League first-division match against Ventforet Kofu on Saturday at Kose Sports Park Stadium. Gamba won 2-1. KYODO PHOTO

Struggling Kofu looked set to collect their first league points of the season after Brazilian striker Alberto had given the home side a 38th-minute lead at Kose Sports Park.

But Bando, dropped by Osim for Japan's friendly against Peru last weekend, responded with a 74th-minute equalizer just moments after replacing Akihiro Ienaga and then set up Magno Alves' winner in the 83rd minute to ensure Gamba preserved their perfect start to the campaign with a maximum 12 points from four games.

Kofu propped up the table and Omiya remains second from bottom without a point after a 2-1 defeat to Shimizu S-Pulse.

At Yamaha Stadium, Japan Under-22 star Robert Cullen scored the only goal of the game as Jubilo Iwata edged JEF United Chiba 1-0 to make it three wins on the spin after opening with a 4-0 defeat to Kashiwa Reysol.

Albirex Niigata secured their first win thanks to two goals in the last 16 minutes from Kisho Yano and Edmilson in a 2-0 defeat of Kawasaki Frontale.

In Saturday's late games, Minoru Suganuma put unbeaten Kashiwa on the way to a 2-0 win over FC Tokyo and Hideo Oshima grabbed a brace in Yokohama F Marinos's 3-1 win at Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Vissel Kobe against Kashima Antlers finished 1-1.

Nagoya Grampus Eight, the only team apart from Gamba to boast a 100 percent record, travel to Yokohama FC and defending champion Urawa Reds visit Oita Trinita on Sunday.

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