Tokyo: Japanese champions Gamba Osaka recorded their first win of the fledgling J-League season with a comfortable 2-0 win at Ventforet Kofu on Sunday.
Former Bayern Munich loanee Takashi Usami celebrated his international call-up in midweek with Gamba`s second goal as last season`s treble winners bounced back from a slow start to the new season.
Gamba dropped points in their first two league games and drew 1-1 with Thai club Buriram United in the Asian Champions League. But midfielder Hiroyuki Abe settled team nerves with the opener on 63 minutes.
Moments later Usami pounced to give the Osaka side breathing space, with victory lifting the former Asian champions to seventh in the first division table.
Yokohama F-Marinos, part-owned by Manchester City, squeaked a first win of the season for new French manager Erick Mombaerts, with Shingo Hyodo scoring the only goal of a drab affair that did little to set pulses racing.
Last season`s runner-up Urawa Reds were held to a 0-0 draw at Sanfrecce Hiroshima, keeping them first and second respectively on seven points. But it was another match which will have offered new Japan boss Vahid Halilhodzic few clues about charting a fresh course for the national side.
Brazilian forward Rafael da Silva snatched the decider as Albirex Niigata beat 10-man Kashiwa Reysol 3-2, while the promoted Matsumoto Yamagata notched their first win in the top flight with a 1-0 win at Shimizu S-Pulse.
Elsewhere, Japan striker Yoshinori Muto was on target for FC Tokyo in a 2-0 win at Vissel Kobe as first division new boys Montedio Yamagata upset visiting Kawasaki Frontale 1-0.