Yasuhiro Higuchi fielded what is looking like his preferred full-strength Ardija side against Gamba Osaka - and the team successfully overcame their recent Omiya Park jinx with a deserved win. Somewhat unusually, the Squirrels began the game well and took the lead just four minutes in, when Klemen Lavric's header from a Yusuke Murayama cross appeared to have crossed the line. Eventually, however, the rebound off goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya fell to the right boot of Denis Marques, who made no mistake from inside the six-yard area.
Long range efforts from Chikara Fujimoto, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi and a couple of Daigo Kobayashi free kicks also went close. But Omiya finally notched up another goal just before half time, when Daigo floated in a corner from the left and central defender Leandro rose to angle a perfect bullet header past the keeper. The Squirrels subsequently went into the break two goals to the good.
Gamba coach Akira Nishino tried to change things around at the start of the second half and the previously impotent visitors were much more threatening, especially when former Marinos player Roni entered the fray for the subdued Masato Yamazaki. Squirrels net-minder Koji Ezumi had to make some decent saves and the likes of Lucas and Yasuhito Endo both came close.
The main talking point of the second 45 minutes was nevertheless the dismissal of Denis Marques, who once again had a fine game and had run the Gamba defence ragged. But Ardija's top scorer seemed to lose his temper when shielding the ball on the ground and lashed out at a Gamba player directly in front of the referee. His red card and subsequent suspension was the only negative point of a good day for an improving Omiya ahead of next week's difficult-looking trip to high-flying Oita Trinita.