2018/3/30 Kashiwa Reysol 2-1 Vissel Kobe
Kashiwa Reysol 2-1 Vissel Kobe
Vissel Kobe again featured in a Friday night match, rescheduled this year to have some action to be shown on DAZN, and chosen in particular in order to give Kashiwa Reysol and extra day of rest so that they can waste it on a doomed ACL campaign!
Some rotation from Vissel manager Takayuki Yoshida, with Masahiko Inoha in at centre back and Masatoshi Mihara used at right back. Yuta Goke also got a start, along with Shuhei Otsuki. The match was decided on two goals from Junya Ito for the home team, while former Reysol favourite Junya Tanaka scored for Vissel.
It was 0-0 at the break and evenly-balanced going into the 2nd half. In the 51st minute Lukas Podolski raced across the area looking for space and was hacked down in a perfect place for a free kick, but the referee decided to play advantage - which was his right - but nothing came of it for the away team. Hirotaka Mita then showed us some skill that, if it has been seen in the (European) Champions League would have had the world raving, but, alas it was "only" a J.League match, so his "Bergkamp-esque one touch control and shot - which flew inches over the bar - will have to be remembered only by us!
The match stretched to the 68th minute with Vissel looking more likely to score every attack and then, as is football, a clearance to nowhere, produced a goal from nothing and Reysol took the lead. Ataru Esaka kept a cleared-to-anywhere ball in with another keep-the-ball-in-however touch that fell to Ito advancing into the away half. The diminutive winger kept going and was given space to set his sights and take a shot across the area and into the low far corner.
Minutes later Vissel were level through a glancing header from Tanaka off an in-swinging corner but it was Ito again, this time in the right place at the right time to latch onto an unlucky ricochet from the 'keeper's save and blast it home through a forest of legs. 2-1 to the home team but Lukas Podolski was not finished, producing a touch of magic to acrobatically volley from the edge of the area to force a save out of Kosuke Nakamura in order to ensure his team kept maximum points.
A decent enough display but the luck was with the home team on the evening.
Team - Kim, Mihara (Ogawa, 60), Inoha, H.Watanabae, Hashimoto (Matsushita, 72), Fujita, Mita, Goke, Podolski, Tanaka, Otsuki (Havenaar, 72)
74’ Junya Tanaka