2017/2/25 Shimizu S-Pulse 0-1 Vissel Kobe
Shimizu S-Pulse 0-1 Vissel Kobe
J1 - Feb.25, 2017 - I.A.I. Nihondaira Stadium,
Vissel Kobe opened their 2017 campaign with a well-fought out win away at J1 returnees Shimizu S-Pulse, but the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to 2016 J1 top-scorer Leandro, who may well be out for a long time, after initial reports were in.
The three points came on a goal from the most unlikely quarter - with left back Wataru Hashimoto - fresh from converting last season's loan into a full transfer - stabbing home a loose ball at the far post after a right sided corner in the the 71st minute.
The first half had seen midfield stagnation with just a couple of half chances for S-Pulse's new captain Chong Tese and, at the other end a free kick from Kazuma Watanabe proving hard to hold for the home team's new 'keeper, Yuji Rokutan. The second period continued to lack any real spark from either team and then, just after the hour mark came the seemingly innocuous challenge that may have ended Leandro's season before it began.
Team - Kim, Takahashi, Watanabe, Iwanami, Hashimoto (Matsushita, 75'), Nilton, Fujita, Watanabe, Omori (Ogawa, 72'), Leandro (Otsuki, 64'), Tanaka
Goalscorer: Wataru Hashimoto (71')