Japan international midfielder Yasuhito Endo scored once and set up another two goals to lead Gamba Osaka to a 5-3 win over Sanfrecce in the J.League today.
Endo set up defender Sota Nakazawa's headed goal to open the scoring in the third minute and then fired a 23-metre shot into the net to make it 2-0 in the 34th minute. After Shoki Hirai added another in the 55th minute, Endo produced the last pass for Hayato Sasaki's goal in the 78th.
Kazumichi Takagi nodded home in the 85th minute to snuffle out any signs of a comeback from the away side. Osaka are six points behind J-League leaders Kashiwa Reysol but have two games in hand.
Meanwhile, Vegalta Sendai missed the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders after they lost 1-0 at Shimizu S-Pulse. Australian Alex Brosque netted the winner nine minutes from time to seal the points as the visitors remained four points off the pace.
Yokohama F. Marinos climbed to second on goal difference following a 2-0 win at Montedio Yamagata, Yuzo Kurihara and substitute Kazuma Watanabe finding the back of the net at the end of each half.
Finally, Omiya Ardija and Vissel Kobe played out a 1-1 draw, Keigo Higashi cancelling out Yoshito Okubo's opener.