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Monday, July 19, 2010

Last-minute Endo goal sinks Reds

OSAKA (Kyodo) Yasuhito Endo hit a sensational last-gasp winner in his first match back from the World Cup in South Africa as Gamba Osaka beat Urawa Reds 3-2 at home in the J. League on Sunday.

News photo
In the thick of it: Gamba's Yasuhito Endo stretches to compete for the ball with Urawa's Yuki Abe on Sunday. KYODO PHOTO

Endo's right-foot drive came four minutes into added time, just after Edmilson had leveled the score with his second goal of the night for Urawa at Expo Stadium.

Endo was involved in all three Gamba goals as he set up Takashi Usami's equalizer shortly before halftime and Urawa defender Nobuhisa Yamada headed Endo's soft cross into his own net in the 64th minute.

Both teams were reduced to 10 men, with Lucas sent off in the 68th minute and Yamada in the 90th, both for hard sliding tackles.

"We conceded a goal first, so it was a tough game. I'm glad we came from behind to win with a team effort," Endo said. "We still have many things to work on, but we continue to believe that we'll be the champions in the end."

Gamba are now in eighth place with 18 points, nine behind leader Kashima Antlers.

Edmilson opened the scoring with a header in the 18th minute.

In other games, Sanfrecce Hiroshima cruised to a 3-0 home win over Yokohama F. Marinos.

First-half goals from Koji Nakajima and Hisato Sato put Hiroshima in the driving seat and Koji Morisaki put the game beyond Shunsuke Nakamura's side with the third 14 minutes into the second half.

Shonan Bellmare moved off the bottom of the table after a 1-0 win away at Kyoto Sanga thanks to a 46th-minute goal from Yoshihiro Abe.

Pellegrini lashes out

SANTIAGO (AP) Manuel Pellegrini, who was fired as coach two months ago by Real Madrid, has taken a shot at his former club's player recruitment, comparing it to an orchestra that hired the best guitarists and then asked them to play piano.

"The best players are taken, but not the best players for the positions where they're needed," said Pellegrini, who was replaced by Jose Mourinho. "Real Madrid has the best guitarists, but if they are asked to play the piano they won't do it very well."

Real Madrid spent huge sums prior to last season but still finished second to Barcelona in the Spanish League.

Pellegrini was critical of club president Florentino Perez, who fired him, and said the decision to sell Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, both of whom were outstanding for the Netherlands in the World Cup, was a mistake.

"For my taste, the technical side of the club with (Jorge) Valdano and others — besides the coach — should have had more influence in the makeup of the team, as happens at other clubs — except this one."

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