2017/4/1 Vissel Kobe 1-3 Urawa Reds
Vissel Kobe 1-3 Urawa Reds
Vissel Kobe's unbeaten start to the season went down in flames against an Urawa Reds side who were not really the better side but managed to take chances that came their way. Goals from Yosuke Kashiwagi and Wataru Endo gave the away team a two goal cushion in their best spell as the the 2nd half settled down, and then, with a superb finish from Yuya Nakasaka putting Vissel back in touch in the 71stminute - just after Nilton had headed against a post - the game was set up for a big finish.
While the home team tried to build and create chances, the red (or actually yellow in this match) bus was parked to ensure they kept the points and, as Vissel left gaps, Kashiwagi added a third goal in additional time to give Urawa three points, all be it on a scoreline they hardly deserved.
The first period of the match was quite uneventful, Kotaro Omori forcing a save down low from Shusaku Nishikawa in the 28th minute, after a run from his own half, probably being the highlight of the half!
The second period began with Hirofumi Watanabe getting on the end of a Naoyuki Fujita free kick to send the ball just past the corner of Nishikawa's goal, with the 'keeper watching hopefully! Then Kashiwagi struck, from nowhere, surrounded by four defenders, still managing to poke the ball home. It was 2-0 moments later as Endo headed down and in off the unguarded post (why!?!) and Reds were cruising.
Or so they thought... Nilton then struck his bullet header against the post before Nakasaka ran on to a superb through ball from Kazuma Watanabe to round the 'keeper - who had chased well outside of his area to try and close the move down - and slot home.
Vissel then threw caution completely to the wind on a last gasp free kick but it went straight to Shinzo Koroki who advanced, smacked off Shunki Takahashi - literally, with two straight arms to the face, which the referee ignored - and the move ended with Kashiwagi notching his second and sealing the points.
Vissel remained top of J1, despite their loss and will be hoping for maximum points in their next match - away at bottom club Omiya Ardija.
Team - Kim, S.Takahashi, Iwanami, H.Watanabe, Matsushita, Nilton (H.Takahashi, 81), Fujita, Kobayashi, Omori (Nakasaka, 70), J.Tanaka (Otsuki, 66), K.Watanabe
Goal: 81' Yuya NAKASAKA