Japan's 2010 FIFA World Cup™ hero Yasuhito Endo scored an injury time winner to give Gamba Osaka a 3-2 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds in the J-League on Sunday.
Urawa had pulled it back to 2-2 when Brazilian striker Edmilson headed home from a corner for his second goal of the day more than two minutes into four minutes of injury time.But there was more drama to come. With only seconds remaining, Endo collected a pass from Korean Lee Keun-Hoo and fired a right-foot shot home from the edge of the area to clinch the victory.
"It was a difficult game as we lost the first goal, but we were able to turn it round. I'm really glad that we took three points from the win," said Endo, who scored in the World Cup to help Japan beat Denmark. "We have a strong will to win, that's why we won today. We believe we still have a chance to win the title, so we will keep fighting for it," added the 30-year-old midfielder.
Earlier Edmilson opened the scoring in the 18th minute, while Osaka's Brazilian forward Lucas hit the bar in the 40th minute, but Takashi Usami levelled in first-half injury time. A second goal for Osaka came when Urawa defender Nobuhisa Yamada headed into his own net in the 64th minute. Osaka have now 18 points from four wins, six draws and three defeats, nine points behind leaders Kashima Antlers.
Defending champions Kashima returned to the top of the table on Saturday when they defeated Kawasaki Frontale 2-1 thanks to a winning goal from South Korean World Cup hero Lee Jung-Soo.
Shimizu S-Pulse trail Kashima on 26 points, followed by Nagoya Grampus on 25 points, Kawasaki on 21 points, and Cerezo Osaka and Urawa on 20 points. In other games on Sunday, Shonan Bellmare lifted themselves from the foot of the table with a 1-0 win over Kyoto Sanga, who now occupy botton spot, while Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Yokohama Marinos 3-0.