2018/8/1 Cerezo Osaka 1-1 Vissel Kobe
Cerezo Osaka 1-1 Vissel Kobe
Vissel Kobe somehow came home with a single point in this Kansai Derby after an own goal for each team saw the game end in a 1-1 draw. Vissel gave a start to leo Osaka, fresh from J2's Tokushima Vortis and looking ready for an extended J1 career. At central midfield the dynamic duo of Naoyuki Fujita and Hirotaka Mita, while Daiju Sasaki got a rare start, also. Asahi Masuyama had an early chance when his speed easily took him past the defence but his finish was wasteful, but a good sign for the away team.
Midway through the 1st half a patient Vissel passing move on the edge of the area created space and the final ball from Theerathon through to Yuta Goke was a peach, with the youngster turning his defender and firing just past the post but it was the home team that opened the scoring when Kazuma Watanabe got on the end of an inswinging Sousa corner and directed the ball past his own 'keeper to make the score 1-0 at the break.
Vissel made a change at the break, with Wellington replacing Sasaki, and the big Brazilian was soon in on the action, helping create space and then crossing for Masuyama to have a close-range shot blocked, with the follow-up shot from Mita being blocked by a defender before the desperate clearance averted more danger for Cerezo.
Next to be brought on was Junya Tanaka and he too saw his fresh legs create a chance as he broke from deep inside his own half, surging past one player, beating another before finding Wellington on his right, who took the ball in hi stride and shot from range to force a save from Kim Jin-hyeon in the Cerezo goal, and a corner. From that corner Tanaka headed on from the near post and Matej Jonjic stuck out a leg to prevent Goke finishing it off, but the defender beat his own 'keeper to make it 1-1!
At the end of the match it was the Vissel players who were more disappointed in the draw.
Team - Kim, Mihara, Osaki, H.Watanabe, Theerathon (Hashimoto, 85), Mita, Fujita, Goke, Masuyama (Tanaka, 68), Sasaki (Wellington, 46), K.Watanabe
Own Goal (79')