2018/11/3 Nagoya Grampus 1-2 Vissel Kobe
Nagoya Grampus 1-2 Vissel Kobe
Unbelievably, Vissel Kobe went into this away game at Nagoya Grampus with it being treated as a relegation battle, but came out of it with a well-deserved and long-awaited win to pull clear of the bottom and go a long way to securing their place in J1 for 2019!
The away team controlled the early game and opened the scoring with some inventive work from Spanish Magician Andres Iniesta that was finished off by German World Cup winner Lukas Podolski. The Spaniard looped the ball over the flat defence as the German rushed through from behind the offside line to volley home to make it 1-0 to Vissel.
Vissel really should have been 2-0 up by half time when an intelligent, fast clearance from defence saw Kyogo Furuhashi breaking free. The former FC Gifu youngster unselfishly slipped the ball left to the onrushing Naoyuki Fujita but the Vissel midfielder shot straight at Mitch Langerak in the home goal and it remained just 1-0 to the away team at the break.
Against all odds, though, Grampus leveled the game just 20 seconds into the 2nd half as veteran Keiji Tamada placed his left foot shot across the 'keeper from a sharp angle to give his team the equalising goal. Daiya Maekawa in the Vissel goal then denied Brazilian ace Jo with his foot as Grampus enjoyed a short spurt of hope in the game.
Vissel claimed the winner, that always seemed to be coming, with five minutes to go, as Lukas Podolski hustled down the right wing to win a 50-50 ball. He then cut inside onto his favoured left foot and keep going across the area to make space for the shot. When that shot came it was too much for the helpless 'keeper and gave Vissel a well-earned victory, three points and relief from any lingering relegation worries!
Team - Maekawa, Mihara, Osaki (Nasu, 71), Yasser, Theerathon (Hashimoto, 66), Fujita, Inoha, Mita, Podolski, Iniesta, Furuhashi (Wellington, 82)
Goal - PODOLSKI (10', 85')