2015/12/26 Vissel Kobe 0-3 Urawa Reds
One man down just after the half hour mark - Masatoshi Mihara should have no complaints about his two yellow cards, though - and three goals down by half time, this game was well out of the reach of Vissel Kobe by the break yet, with some changes by manager Nelsinho for the 2nd half, Vissel actually drew that period 0-0! That's probably the most optimistic piece of reporting one can write for Vissel in this match!?
With, yet again, injuries forcing changes upon the team - Mihara actually playing in a very unfamiliar position on the right of a three man defence - the host (as opposed to home) was cut to ribbons three times by the break. One touch passing and a final needle-threading pass by Tadanari Lee set up Shinzo Koroki for the first goal in the 22nd minute, while Lee himself converted from the edge of the area to make it 2-0 minutes later.
Mihara then picked up two yellow cards in nine minutes and to rub salt into the gaping wound Lee added another assist to allow the onrushing Tomoya Ugajin to shoot across the goalkeeper and give Reds a 3-0 lead.
So Fujitani - playing right wing back - and Daisuke Ishizu were replaced by Shunki Takahashi, a straight positional swap, and Bueno, who came into the void created by Mihara's dismissal. The changes helped stabilise a shaky team and the score was not added to but Vissel's season ended today with plenty to think about for the powers-that-be for 2016.
Team - Tokushige, Mihara, Iwanami, Sho.Takahashi, Fujitani (Shu.Takahashi, 46), Tanaka, Morioka, Soma, Watanabe, Leandro, Ishizu (Bueno, 46)