2018/8/11 Vissel Kobe 2-1 Jubilo Iwata

Vissel Kobe 2-1 Jubilo Iwata

Vissel Kobe 2-1 Jubilo Iwata

Vissel Kobe came out much easier winners than the 2-1 scoreline suggests and may well rue the missed chances and lack of goals come the end of the season if the Asian Champions League qualifying places come down to goal difference. This game really could have been three or four goals better for Vissel and, with the late penalty actually raising the hopes of the visitors temporarily, this could have ended a disastrous draw with a little bad luck at the end!

The game saw first-ever J1 goals for the Vissel's Spanish Magician, Andres Iniesta, and their new signing - Kyogo Furuhashi - already turning heads and impressing people in the upper division of Japan after his move from FC Gifu.

Vissel went looking for goals from the start and looked like they were going to score every few minutes against a tepid Jubilo Iwata side. Lukas Podolski sent a searing shot just over the bar in the 11th minute to remind the away 'keeper he was in for a busy day! The men in crimson were ahead in the 15th minute when Podolski sent a bullet low pass to Iniesta in the area and his drag-back of the ball left his marker lying on the floor as he then feinted to shoot, sending the 'keeper down early. The diminutive Spaniard then rounded the stricken Kaminsky and slid the ball into the empty net to give the home team a well deserved lead.

Former Vissel marksman Yoshito Okubo had a quiet day up front for Jubilo but did have one stooping header that Kim Seung-gyu had to reach for and keep his team ahead. It remained 1-0 at the break and Vissel vame out even stronger for the second period, with the away team hardly getting a touch of the ball at time, desperately clearing their lines only for the home team defenders to send the ball back into the danger area immediately. This is how Furuhashi got the second with the whole team playing its part. Jubilo defenders once again cleared desperately only to see Iniesta first-time pas the high ball to Leo Osaki - centre back out on the left wing - he also first-timed the ball to Wellington in the middle of the park. The big Brazilian took his ball first time, also, with a superb pass to open up space for Furuhashi, who took the ball in his stride and made no mistake as he slid the ball across the 'keeper and in at the far port. 2-0!

It looked as if Vissel were going 3-0 ahead in the 73rd minute as a Podolski inswinging corner found Wellington unmarked at the far post but, much to the player's own disgust, he headed it inches wide with the goal at his mercy. And then, suddenly Jubilo were given a lifeline as 2nd half substitute Hiroki Yamada ran across Iniesta in the goal area and seemed to drag his heel against the Spanish star. The subsequent spectacular tumble convinced the referee that it was a penalty kick and Kengo Kawamata did the rest. 2-1, well against the run of play but thus ended the scoring and Vissel took a thoroughly-deserved win.

Team - Kim, Mihara, Osaki, Watanabe, Theerathon, Fujita, Podolski (Otsuki, 82), Goke (Nasu, 90+1), Iniesta, Furuhashi (Tanaka, 75), Wellington

Andres Iniesta (15')
Kyogo Furuhashi (56')

Attendance: 24,731

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