2018/8/5 F.C.Tokyo 1-0 Vissel Kobe
F.C.Tokyo 1-0 Vissel Kobe
Vissel Kobe went into this away game against the 2nd-placed team with a view to racking up some wins and points in the coming games in order to challenge for an ACL-qualifying place - or even better - the championship was still not out of the question as Sanfrecce Hiroshima begin to falter.
It was a quiet 1st half as Vissel, without Andres Iniesta - busy packing up his family and affairs in Spain to make the permanent move to Japan - and the injured Lukas Podolski, held off their hosts with little trouble to keep the score at 0-0 at the break.
Kazuma Watanabe and new boy Kyogo Furuhashi made substitute appearances as the second period began and Watanabe was soon in action against his former club, cutting in from the left wing to shoot just over from the edge of the area. Kazuma then set up Hirotaka Mita for a left foot blast - after a lovely passing move had created space, with 'keeper Akihiro Hayashi holding the shot well as it stung his hands.
Next up with the chance was Wellington as substitute Kyogo Furuhashi broke down the left channel and found Kazuma Watanabe in the area. The former FC Tokyo forward controlled, turned and set up Wellington for the shot that rocketed just wide with the 'keeper looking on helplessly. Five minutes later Furuhashi himself went all the way, cutting inside before unleashing a blast that had the goalkeeper pushing the ball past the post for a corner. Great confidence from Vissel's new youngster!
Then, with a draw looking likely, and deserved for Vissel, Diego Oliveira moved forward and was surrounded by four defenders on the edge of the area, leaving Lins all alone to take a sly pass to the right and blast home with aplomb. Hearts broke, points lost, but some encouraging signs, especially from Furuhashi.
Team - Kim, Mihara, Osaki, H.Watanabe, Theerathon, Fujita (Matsushita, 75), Mita, Masuyama (Furuhashi, 46), Goke, Otsuki (K.Watanabe, 46), Wellington