Gamba Osaka have had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Urawa Reds in the J-League on the weekend. A win would have put Gamba outright thirds on the table but they had to contend with the hard running and toughness of a Urawa outfit playing in front of home fans.
Gamba midfielder Yasuhito Endo said a draw was a fair enough result and was happy to grab a point.
"I think we had maybe one real opportunity all game," Endo said.
"They do a lot of running this year, link well and I think we have to be happy with a draw given the performance.
"We went through long periods of the match where we were on our heels. But we still put up a fight, and I think we're going back to Osaka with a crucial point on the road."
Gamba coach Akira Nishino said it was easily the toughest match they had played so far this season.
"It was a very tough game and we were forced to defend much more than we usually do in a game," Nishino said.
"It was an extremely tough game for us. I think we played about two games' worth of defence today. I don't think we struggled this badly all season. It was really difficult. We couldn't play with our style. But we managed to keep a clean sheet against the Reds. That is a positive."