2015/3/7 Vissel Kobe 0-1 Kashiwa Reysol

Vissel Kobe went down to a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Kashiwa Reysol in the opening match of their 2015 J.League campaign.

New manager - and, of course, ex-Kashiwa boss - Nelsinho sprung some surprises with his team selection, with a very attacking line-up and, in particular, his selection of Bueno in the defensive midfield position alongside Jung Woo-Young.

The team was laid out in a nominal 4-2-3-1 / 4-2-1-3 formation, depending on which team was in possession, with Ryota Morioka being the pivotal central midfield behind the more attacking midfielders of Kazuma Watanabe and Pedro Junior, and behind Marquinhos.

The game was won by a far post header from Reysol no.9 Masato Kudo after a deep cross evaded the reach of Vissel keeper Kaito Yamamoto. Substitute Shohei Takahashi - on at the start of the second half for Takahiro Masukawa - watched the ball, instead of the man and Kudo sneaked in to head home at the back stick in the 63rd minute.

While taking a large amount of possession from their visitors, Vissel never really looked like scoring. Watanabe saw a decent long range volley settle in the keeper's arm just after the break, whileTakuya Iwanami saw his shot sail wide of goal after a corner was cleared.

Before the goal Cristiano had hit the post from a free kick for the team in yellow, although Yamamoto's outstretched hand seemed to have the goal covered, and a Taketomi shot was deflected just wide of the post by Kudo, as Yamamoto was left going the other way.

Vissel's best chance was probably when Marquinhos threaded a through ball into the path of Pedro Junior, but the Brazilian marksman dallied a little too long and the ball was whipped away from him before he could finish.

An interesting start, with some welcome new faces. The only way is up. Hopefully, the huge crowd of over 24,000 saw something that will make them want to return.

Next up for Vissel, an away trip to Kawasaki Frontale on March 14th, before their next home league match against FC Tokyo a week later.

Team Yamamoto, Okui, Iwanami, Masukawa (Takahashi, 46), Yasuda, Bueno, Jung, Pedro Junior, Morioka (Ogawa, 46), Watanabe, Marquinhos (Ishizu, 70)

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