East Asia Japan

Gasmen Stunned as Turtles Plunder All Three Points

Wednesday saw a number of rescheduled J.League 1 matches being played out, particularly those involving Japan’s AFC Champions League representatives in Yokohama F. Marinos, FC Tokyo, and Vissel Kobe as well as Sagan Tosu, who had a number of matches postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. FC Tokyo host Oita Trinita at the Ajinomoto Stadium in their rescheduled match, however the Gasmen were left stunned after Tomohiro Katanosaka’s Oita won their second straight away game, with the Turtles leaving Tokyo with a 3-2 win under their belt.

Having won their first J1 encounter of the season 1-0 away at the Showa Denko Dome, many were pinning FC Tokyo as favorites for this match, however plucky Oita exceeded expectations by managing to keep Kenta Hasegawa’s charges at bay. After a goalless first half, Oita unexpectedly drew first blood through Rei Matsumoto in the 53rd minute. Rei, a witness to Oita’s downs and ups in recent years having been part of the Turtles’ furniture since 2013, fired off a powerful shot from the edge of the box that went beyond the reaches of FC Tokyo custodian Akihiro Hayashi.

Oita’s lead only lasted a good seven minutes though, after the hosts scored the equalizer through Leandro. The Brazilian accepted a pass from Kensuke Nagai before firing off a quick and rather scrappy shot that caught Oita’s South Korean keeper Mun Kyung-gun off-guard.

Despite this setback, Oita refused to throw the towel and kept on pushing forward, culminating in a 3-minute spell that saw Oita punish FC Tokyo twice. The first blow for the Gasmen came in the 82nd minute when Tatsuya Tanaka fired home from close-range, before Oita delivered a solid uppercut in the 85th minute, when Hayashi fumbled a Kohei Isa shot towards Isa himself, who scrambled the ball towards Naoki Nomura. Nomura then slammed in a shot that went straight for the top corner, cementing Oita’s advantage.

Manato Shinada did cause some squeaky bum time for Oita after his 90th minute close-ranged header slashed the deficit for FC Tokyo, however Katanosaka’s Turtles held onto their result very tightly and finished the match as 3-2 winners, the three points going home to Kyushu alongside them.

Elsewhere at the Misaki Park Stadium, Cerezo Osaka emerged out as 1-0 victors over hosts Vissel Kobe in an ill-tempered Hanshin Derby. Yoichiro Kakitani scored the only goal of the game for 10-men Cerezo, who had Ken Tokura sent off after an awful foul on Vissel’s Daiya Maekawa bleeding from the forehead.

Yokohama F. Marinos easily steamrolled Shimizu S-Pulse 3-0 at the Nissan Stadium, while Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo finally broke their winless streak after triumphing 2-0 away at a resurgent Sagan Tosu.