FC Tokyo assumed full control of their 2021 J.League Cup group with a confident performance against Vissel Kobe on Sunday’s only Matchweek 2 game at the Ajinomoto Stadium. The defending champions managed to work out a 2-0 win over their opponents from Hyogo Prefecture, a result that ensured Kenta Hasegawa’s men leadership of Group B with two wins out of two.
Coming into their Matchweek 2 encounter, both FC Tokyo and Vissel had won their Matchweek 1 games, with the former edging out Tokushima Vortis 1-0 at the Ajinomoto and the latter beating Oita Trinita 3-1 at the Showa Denko Dome. A win for either FC Tokyo or Vissel on Sunday would assure them pole position of Group B and the Gasmen looked set for the challenge as Kenta fielded his strongest lineup, with the likes of Diego Oliveira, Hotaka Nakamura, Hirotaka Mita, Adailton, Joan Oumari and Keigo Higashi present in the starting lineup.
Vissel head coach Atsuhiro Miura opted to give his fringe players a chance in his own starting lineup, with the likes of Sergi Samper, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Noriaki Fujimoto, and Gotoku Sakai sitting on the bench.
As a result, defending J.League Cup champions FC Tokyo easily took control of proceedings from the get-go, with the hosts going two goals to the good in the opening 15 minutes of the match, each goal being three minutes apart. Oliveira had given the Gasmen the lead in the 11th minute with an excellent solo effort that left Vissel goalkeeper Ryotaro Hironaga biting the dust, before Mita wrapped up all three points in the 14th minute with a powerful drive from outside the area.
Despite going two goals down in such quick succession, Vissel did well to recover and they manage to threaten Tsuyoshi Kodama in the FC Tokyo goal a number of times, however the men from Hyogo Prefecture were unable to convert those chances into goals. This enabled FC Tokyo to defend their lead quite nicely and retained their two goal advantage all the way into full-time.
The three points gave FC Tokyo total control over Group B, with Vissel sitting behind the Gasmen in 2nd place. Oita, who won their Matchweek 2 game 1-0 over Tokushima on Saturday, are currently breathing down Vissel’s neck in 3rd place, the two sides each having three points but Vissel had the advantage in terms of head-to-head and goal difference. Last but not least, winless Tokushima propped up Group B with zero points to their name.