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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gamba Osaka rally past Yamagata

SUITA, Osaka Pref. (Kyodo) Brazilian striker Leandro grabbed his fourth goal of the season as Asian club champion Gamba Osaka came from a goal down to beat promoted Montedio Yamagata 2-1 in the J. League first division on Friday night.

Yamagata took a surprise lead on the stroke of halftime when midfielder Kim Byun Suk turned the ball in after Leonardo had sent Tatsuya Ishikawa's right-wing corner back across the face of the goal.

But Yasuhito Endo scooped in the equalizer on 72 minutes with his fourth of the campaign after a neat one-two with Hayato Sasaki, and Leandro picked up a half-hearted clearance and smashed home from the edge of the box to seal victory 11 minutes from time.

"We came in at halftime trailing but our rhythm was OK and we just needed to continue as we were," Gamba manager Akira Nishino said after his side's first league win in four matches. "I think we were able to stay composed and break them down."

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