2015/5/10 Vissel Kobe 1-2 Shimizu S-Pulse
Kazuma Watanabe earned himself a yellow card after less than 15 seconds, then Kaito Yamamoto mis-kicked a clearance moments later as Vissel Kobe began this game nervously, and then it was Shimizu S-Pulse who ended the game with the jitters - with a red card and a free kick that almost leveled the game - but it was the away team who took three very vital points in the end.
Yet more injuries had added to manager Nelsinho's selection problems for this visit of relegation-threatened Shimizu, with Takahito Soma yet another casualty in the wide player department. Shuffling his lack, Nelsinho put Shohei Takahashi on the left wing, while Shunki Takahashi was preferred over Ryo Okui on the right.
It was Australian import Mitchell Duke who opened the scoring for S-Pulse in the 14th minute, taking a touch to set himself up for a right foot shot from the corner of the area.
Vissel were back in the game in the 29th minute when Shunki Takahashi broke down the right and fed Watanabe. The former FC Tokyo striker advanced into the area and shot low and hard. Rikiihiro Sugiyama in the away goal got down to save but the ball was inadvertently bundled home by Mitsunari Musaka as he tried to clear it.
Moments after the goal Daisuke Ishizu saw his shot drift last a post with the keeper unsighted as Vissel started to stamp their authority on their home game but it remained 1-1 at the break.
Okui replaced Takahiro Masukawa as the teams came out for the second period, with Shohei Takahashi dropping into the three back formation and the substitute taking the left wing back position. Okui soon began to make his mark on the game, getting involved in a few moves down the left in the opening exchanges, although it was a move from the right in the 57th minute that saw Keijiro Ogawa shoot across the goalkeeper and inches past the post. Two minutes later it was Yamamoto to the rescue at the other end of the field, after Hideo Tanaka gave away possession in his own half and the ball was slipped to Peter Utaka who saw his shot saved well by the Vissel keeper.
S-Pulse went ahead for good in the match when Omae was adjudged to have been fouled by Shohei Takahashi. The sneaky number 10 then moved the ball back a few yards to get the distance to help get the ball over the wall. And get the ball over the wall he did, his curling shot leaving Yamamoto helpless and giving his team the lead with 20 minutes to go.
Ogawa could then have had the equaliser with six minutes to go, as he got on he end of an excellent Ishizu cross from the left wing, but the diminutive striker failed to connect properly from point blank range and the ball dropped past the post. As time ran out Jakovic saw his second yellow for kicking the ball away after the whistle for a foul and, from that free kick Watanabe's fine effort was clawed out by the keeper, with Ogawa following up but getting under his header from close range. The ball went over the bar and the final whistle sounded seconds later.
Team - Yamamoto, Iwanami (Tashiro, 75), Kitamoto, Masukawa (Oku, 46), Shu.Takahashi, Sho.Takahashi, Jung (Ferrugem, 84), Tanaka, Watanabe, Ishizu, Ogawa