2015/4/29 Vissel Kobe 0-1 Nagoya Grampus
Vissel Kobe went into this match at the beginning of the Golden Week run with more injuries to contend with - Ryota Morioka and Ferrugem joining the likes of Michihiro Yasuda, Beuno and Takahiro Masukawa on the treatment table. To add insult to those injuries, Jung Woo Young was suspended, so in came Kunie Kitamoto to marshall the defence. He was flanked by Takuya Iwanami and Shohei Takahashi in a three man defence.
Goalscoring hero in the 2-1 win against Kashima Antlers, Hideo Tanaka kept his place in central midfield alongside Masatoshi Mihara. Kazuma Watanabe returned to the starting line-up after injury, hoping to continue his good start to the season and he shared attacking duties with Marquinhos and Keijiro Ogawa.
Vissel began well and a smart run by Ogawa saw him advance on to a through ball and ready to shoot but Tulio came in with a desperate saving tackle.
In the 12th minute Vissel almost suffered from over-complicating as they tried to play the ball out of danger but kept getting bogged down. The ball eventually fell to Kawamata, who thankfully didn't get the best contact on his shot and the fans behind the goal breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Watanabe was getting in on the action as the game progressed, and saw a half volley on the edge of the area blocked as the game went from end to end. A minute later Kengo Kawamata advanced goalward but was robbed. The ball fell kindly for Riki Matsuda, however, but a superb save from Yamamoto denied the youngster. Within a minute - back at the other end - Watanabe saw another shot blocked for a corner as the cameras tried to keep up!
Just after the half hour mark, Matsuda chipped sublimely from 20 yards out and his effort bounced off the bar and Kawamata blasted the rebound over from close range. The forward's blushes were perhaps lessened by the offside flag being up!
Marquinhos almost broke the deadlock as the half approached, but, as he beat the keeper at his near post his shot was cleared off the line. 0-0 at the break.
The second period began where the first had let off, with both teams looking for a goal and it was the away team that finally got the breakthrough in the 55th minute. A corner came across, a point blank header was parried by Kaito Yamamoto in the home goal, but Kensuke Nagai was on hand to blast home from inches!
Seven minutes later Iwanami cleared off the line after a ball ricocheted to Nagai at close quarters. Yamamoto took the sting out of the shot but it crept towards the line before the Vissel number 5 cleared it.
In the 66th minute Iwanami was replaced by Daisuke Ishizu as Vissel went to two centre backs and the substitute was in on the action immediately, although his first shot of the match was no problem for Narazaki.
As time ran out Mihara saw his shot deflected and Narazaki was relieved to see it go for a corner as he tried in vain to reposition himself with the Vissel fans behind the goal holding their breath!
As the game came to a close Vissel continued to throw men forward, leaving themselves vulnerable to the long clearances that Nagoya made any time they could get hold of the ball. Tanaka was yellow carded for taking down Kawamata - Danilson hitting the resulting few kick against the bar - while Kitamoto made a miracle tackle on Novakovic to stop the substitute from getting his shot in, but all the possession and effort of the home team came to nought as the final whistle went. The win was Nagoya's.
Team - Yamamoto, Iwanami (Ishizu, 66), Kitamoto, Sho.Takahashi, Mihara, Tanaka, Shu.Takahashi, Soma, Ogawa, Marquinhos (Tashiro, 78), Watanabe