- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) - Sanfrecce Hiroshima won the J-League title for the third time in four years on Saturday, defeating Gamba Osaka 4-3 on aggregate.

Substitute Takuma Asano’s headed goal with 12 minutes left gave Hiroshima a 1-1 draw, following its 3-2 victory in Osaka on Wednesday.

“This team made a lot of sacrifices to get this result,” said Hiroshima coach Hajime Moriyasu. “We had many difficult games this season. Today was the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination by our players.”

Hirsohima qualifies for the Club World Cup tournament and faces Oceania representatives Auckland City in the opening match on Thursday.

Gamba, last season’s treble winners, needed to win by at least two goals to successfully defend their title.

Yasuyuki Konno put Gamba ahead in the 27th minute when he redirected a corner taken by Yasuhito Endo but Asano equalized after a cross from Yoshifumi Kashiwa in the 78th.

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