2018/7/28 Vissel Kobe 1-0 Kashiwa Reysol
Vissel Kobe 1-0 Kashiwa Reysol
A crowd of almost 23,000 were out on a hot and humid Wednesday night to see Vissel Kobe manager Takayuki Yoshida hand Andres Iniesta his first J.League start, much to the delight of the fans - both home and away, I suspect! Vissel were dominant - and Iniesta showed some imperial touches - but, in the end it was down to a close-range finish from Asahi Masuyama to give the home team all three points.
Iniesta got a shot in on the 14th minute but saw it go past the post while seven minutes later another superb touch took his marker out of the game and he raced on to collect the return pass and advanced towards goal. With the defence racing to catch the Spaniard he sent the ball across the park towards Masuyama while everyone expected the shot but it was cut out by the fortunate defender rushing back to mark the speedy Vissel youngster and went out for a corner.
Junya Ito then warned the Vissel defence that they might have to do some work tonight as he got on the end of a ball over the top and volleyed deftly against a a post.
Theerathon was having a blinding game on the left wing, seemingly getting a lot of the ball from Iniesta and his cross in the 35th minute was met by the head of Yuta Goke, but the 'keeper saved well from close range to keep the match at 0-0. The resulting corner was headed down into the path of Masuyama who half-volleyed from point blank range only to see the busy goalkeeper smother the shot - still no way through for Vissel!
The breakthrough that had been threatened by the home team for so long finally came in the 66th minute when a through ball from Hirofumi Watanabe on the half way line fed Goke and he in turn crossed low and hard from Masuyama to finish deftly from close range! 1-0! At last! And that's how it stayed!
Team - Kim, Mihara, Osaki, H.Watanabe, Theerathon, Mita, Fujita, Iniesta (Matsushita, 82), Masuyama (K.Watanabe, 71), Goke (Tanaka, 90+2), Wellington
Asahi Masuyama (66')
Attendance - 22,879