Gamba Osaka got their J-League campaign off to an ideal start with a 2-1 derby win over Cerezo Osaka on Saturday.
Following on from their crushing 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday, Gamba took the lead after 65 minutes through a goal from Takashi Usami, but Cerezo pulled level eight minutes later via Shu Kurata.
Hayato Sasaki scored the winner for last season’s runners-up after 76 minutes, to ensure Gamba got their season off to a winning start at the Expo ’70 Commemorative Stadium.
Reigning champions Nagoya Grampus were not so fortunate, being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Yokohama F Marinos.
Australian striker Josh Kennedy scored a late equaliser for Nagoya after Shingo Hyodo handed the visitors the lead just after the hour mark.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Jubilo Iwata had an 81st-minute strike from Kosuke Yamamoto to thank for their 1-0 win over J-League new boys Ventforet Kofu, while Kawasaki Frontale cruised to a 2-0 win at home over Montedio Yamagata.
Albirex Niigata enjoyed a 3-0 away win over newly promoted Avispa Fukuoka, with Bruno Lopes, Seiya Fujita and Michael scoring the goals.
Last season’s J-League 2 champions Kashiwa Reysol began life in the top flight with aplomb, romping to a 3-0 win over Shimizu S-Pulse.
Jorge Wagner opened the scoring after 20 minutes and second-half goals to Dong-Hyuk Park and Leandro Domingues saw Kashiwa claim all three points.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima played out a goalless draw at home with Vegalta Sendai.