01.01.2016 09:09 h

Gamba gives Reds blues with Emperor's Cup win

Brazilian striker Patric scored two classic poacher's goals as Gamba Osaka beat Urawa Reds to retain the Emperor's Cup on Friday.

Urawa, Japan's best-supported side, will be sick of the sight of Gamba, who shattered their J-League title hopes last season and once more plunged a dagger through their hearts on the big stage.

Patric, who had earlier hit the bar and shaved a post when he really should have scored, fired Gamba into the lead on 32 minutes in Tokyo after cleverly springing the offside trap.

Shinzo Koroki equalised for the Reds minutes later, smashing home a left-foot shot from close range.

But Patric restored Gamba's advantage by sweeping home a Yasuhito Endo corner eight minutes into the second half, delighting the blue half of a New Year's Day crowd of 43,000.

Endo came close with a dipping free kick and an injury-time breakaway chance. At the other end Gamba survived late pressure to win their fifth Emperor's Cup after finishing runners-up in the J-League and J-League Cup this season.

"It was agony at the end -- I just wanted the players to hang on," said Gamba manager Kenta Hasegawa, who led his side to the domestic treble in a sparkling 2014 season.

"It was a case of third time lucky for us this season, but I had faith the players would pay the supporters back after they endured disappointment in the other competitions."

Gamba were beaten 4-3 over two legs by Sanfrecce Hiroshima in this season's J-League championship final and lost 3-0 to Kashima Antlers in the J-League Cup final. They also reached the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League.

Gamba fans who had made the trip from western Japan serenaded their heroes with a chorus of "Campeone, ole, ole, ole!" as Urawa's deflated players, already wrapped up in thick jackets, looked on stony-faced.