2015/6/20 Vissel Kobe 1-1 Urawa Reds
Vissel Kobe began this match with a few less injuries to contend with than they've had over the course of this J1 First Stage, but it was Urawa Reds who walked away with the point they needed to clinch the First Stage trophy.
Vissel looked likely to be the first to score, Marquinhos just failing to connect on a Michihiro Yasuda cross before a 24th minute quickly-taken free kick by Ryota Morioka set Pedro Junior free but as the Vissel marksman tried to round the keeper, Shusaku Nishikawa got his fingertips to the ball and, as the Brazilian forward fell, the keeper grabbed the ball at the second attempt.
Reds took their lead with a fortunate goal in the 27th minute that that saw the ball creep over the line after Tsukasa Umetani had slid in to direct his shot against one post before it narrowly missed the other. They all count!
Moments after the goal Ogawa saw his shot deflected onto the bar with the keeper already down for the save, and then Masukawa headed against the far post with the keeper beaten and, as is often the case with Reds' defending set pieces, no defender at the back stick.
Vissel finally equalised through substitute Kazuma Watanabe late on through a textbook header from a Takahito Soma cross but it was too little, too late, and the home team will be disappointed they couldn't take all three points from this match.
Team - Yamamoto, Bueono, Masukawa, Sho.Takahashi, Shu.Takhashi, Yasuda (Soma, 60), Jung, Morioka, Pedro Junior (Watanabe, 60), Ogawa (Ishizu, 74), Marquinhos