An understrength Gamba Osaka fell 3-0 to River Plate in the 2015 Suruga Bank Championship on Tuesday.
The Japanese champions had to make do without four stars who recently featured at the East Asian Cup, with MEIJI YASUDA J1 League top scorer Takashi Usami unable to join the team.
Kenta Hasegawa’s men were duly overwhelmed by the Argentines, who opened the scoring through Carlos Sanchez’s eighth-minute penalty and then doubled their lead through Gabriel Mercado’s goal from a corner kick in the 31st minute.
Substitute Gonzalo Martinez rounded off the scoring to make it 3-0 for the Copa Sudamericana holders, who will return to Japan in December in order to contest the FIFA Club World Cup.
River maintained their lead against Gamba despite the best efforts of veteran Yasuhito Endo, inflicting the first Suruga loss in six years on a J.League club.