2018/9/1 Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 3-1 Vissel Kobe
Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 3-1 Vissel Kobe
Vissel Kobe went into the international break with another disappointing result on three goals that were all avoidable, with the killer third goal - just after Vissel had seemed to get back into the game with a goal of their own - changing the course of the game, coming from a major error by the referee, as he blew the whistle to allow a free kick to be taken with the away defence still in the process of setting up their wall, and goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu completely out of position, directing the lining up of his defenders. A disappointing goal to concede and one that completely floored a team that were in the process of bringing the game back!
Despite some encouraging early play by Vissel, the home team took the lead on a header from a right wing cross that saw the player crossing left to do what he wanted, and finding a player running in at the back post completely unseen!
Our referee then made his first game-changing decision, choosing to red card Lukas Podolski after the German World Cup winner came in with a late tackle. It was not an intentional foul - just late - but the referee over-reacted and Vissel were down to 10 men with a half to go!
Former Vissel striker Ken Tokura then doubled his team's lead early in the 2nd half with an opportunist flick back across the 'keeper when the ball seemed to be going nowhere. Vissel were 2-0 down from nowhere and visibly rattled.
The away team then managed to turn the game around - or so they thought - when Shun Nagasawa got on the end of a corner and, while his first attempt was saved, he followed up and blasted home from inches to get his team back in the game and give them hope. The team were visibly buoyed by the strike and a game looked on! Four minutes later, though, and the referee again made his mark, killing off the game with a basic error in judgement that saw him allow that free kick to be taken after teams had agreed - in time-honoured fashion, and according to the Laws of the Game - to wait for the whistle, after the defence had set up their wall. There was no waiting, and a bizarre goal ended the game as a contest, and put a huge dent in the hopes of Vissel's Asian Champions League 2-019 aspirations.
Team - Kim, Mihara (Fujitani, 46), Osaki, Watanabe (Theerathon, 73), Yasser, Mita, Fujita, Goke, Iniesta (Wellington, 55), Podolski, Nagasawa
Goal - Shun NAGASAWA (79’)