2018/8/19 Shonan Bellmare 0-2 Vissel Kobe
Shonan Bellmare 0-2 Vissel Kobe
Vissel Kobe took a well-deserved three points in an away win at Shonan Bellmare on goals from Hirotaka Mita and Yuta Goke. The over-physical home team deserved little from this match and Vissel ensured they got exactly that. Sadly, throughout the match Vissel players took illegal challenges, rarely disciplined by the referee - incredibly Kaoru Takayama did not get a yellow card until 18 minutes from time, and then was quickly substituted before he saw red! Andres Iniesta was the victim of some early illegal challenges, while Leo Osaki escaped from a rash challenge by Takayama with nothing seriously damaged, thankfully. The most noticeable effect of the Bellmare tactics was Kyogo Furuhashi, who, after taking a whack in the back of the thigh just before half time, did not reappear.
The away team opened the scoring with a flowing move that saw Iniesta chip the ball to Shun Nagasawa in the area, the big forward in turn knocking the ball down into the patch of Mita, who did the rest! 1-0 at half time although Osaki came close five minutes before the break after some sustained pressure saw him shoot straight at the grateful goalkeeper.
The 2nd half saw more passing and possession as Vissel controlled the game and the 67th minute saw Lukas Podolski curl a shot around the far post from the edge of the area as his team continued to look for more goals. Less than 10 minutes later it was Vissel's German captain sprinting down the right wing to turn inside and shoot again. The 'keeper got down to save but Yuta Goke followed up to double Vissel's score from close range.
Vissel looked good for their 2-0 win and could have had more goals although they allowed the home team space enough to get a shot in against the post in the 90th minute, but held on to the clean sheet in the end!
Team - Kim, Mihara, Watanabe, Yasser (Nasu, 80), Hashimoto (Theerathon, 77), Osaki, Mita, Iniesta, Podolski, Nagasawa, Furuhashi (Goke, 46)
Hirotaka MITA (37')
Yuta GOKE (76')