Legendary striker Kazuyoshi Miura had a brief cameo as his Yokohama FC side recovered from a goal down to stun Vissel Kobe 2-1 on Sunday’s J.League 1 action at the NHK Spring Mitsuzawa Stadium. Yokohama FC’s victory was clinched thanks to an injury-time goal from teenager Reo Yasunaga, whose late effort kept the newly promoted club on 14th place in the J1 table.
Sunday’s match at the Mitsuzawa was a rescheduled match for Vissel, who were due to leave Japan for Qatar later this month to continue their postponed 2020 AFC Champions League campaign. And in the light of this Vissel head coach Atsuhiro Miura decided to start some of his big guns as he prepared his side for their upcoming continental matches, with Andres Iniesta commanding the midfield, Daigo Nishi and Gotoku Sakai on defensive duty, and Noriaki Fujimoto up top.
With such a strong-looking starting lineup, Vissel went off to a flyer once the referee blew for kick-off, pressing aggressively as they seek for an early goal. And an early goal is exactly what Vissel got – 9 minutes into the game, Keijiro Ogawa swung in a cross towards Yuta Goke, who volleyed home past Yokohama FC goalkeeper Yuji Rokutan to give Vissel the lead.
However, two minutes after the opener, Yokohama FC struck back, with Kazunari Ichimi capping off an attacking move that the hosts initiated straight from kick-off.
With the scoreline now tied at 1-1, Vissel immediately pushed forward once again for another goal, however Rokutan was resilient between the sticks, denying a chance from Daiju Sasaki to prevent Vissel from retaking the lead.
Yokohama FC had their chances too, with substitute Leandro Domingues took advantage of a failed Vissel clearance to carve a valuable chance for the hosts, however the Brazilian could only watch in dismay as his shot went wide.
The legendary King Kazu then earned his cameo in the 87th minute, breaking his own record as the oldest J1 player with the ripe old age of 53 years, 8 months, and 13 days. However, it was another substitute, one born from a completely opposite spectrum of the generation, who gave Yokohama FC all three points.
Born in November 19th 2000 with former Yokohama F. Marinos player Sotaro Yasunaga as his father (who, at 44 years old, was even younger than Kazuyoshi Miura himself), 19-year old Reo collected a pass from Yuji Senuma in the first minute of injury-time, before he used all of his might to fire a cannonball that went past Vissel goalie Hiroki Iikura. 2-1 Yokohama FC, and that’s how the match ended – not exactly the ideal preparation that the men from Hyogo Prefecture are looking for as the restart of their Asian campaign inches closer.
Sunday’s other rescheduled match in the J1 saw Sagan Tosu run rampant and destroy last-placed Vegalta Sendai 3-0 at the latter’s Yurtec Stadium.