Gamba Osaka captain Yasuhito Endo was reluctant to compare Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory against Jeonbuk Motors in the second leg of the 2015 AFC Champions League quarter finals to previous last-gasp finishes.
The Japanese side advanced to their first semi final appearance since their title-winning 2008 campaign through a stoppage time goal by Koki Yonekura, eliminating the last remaining K-League representatives from the competition.
“As a player it’s not the kind of finish you want to experience although I’m sure it was fun to watch,” the 35-year-old midfielder told reporters after the match. “It was a tough match but we didn’t give up and were focused on winning.
An 88th-minute equaliser by Jeonbuk super-substitute Urko Vera gave the South Koreans the edge on away goals, but a spirited pushback from Gamba saw Endo set up the game-winner that sent his side into a semifinal confrontation with 2013 champions Guangzhou Evergrande.
“I’m not completely satisfied with how we played but it’s a great result for us,” Endo reflected. “It’s difficult to compare [previous last-second victories] with tonight, but it’s exciting for us to win an important match like this.
“I’m glad that we can continue to aim for an even higher achievement in Asia.”