East Asia Japan

Marinos Edge Vissel in Clash of Titans

J.League 1 leaders Vissel Kobe suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of defending champions Yokohama F. Marinos in Saturday’s league match at the Misaki Park Stadium in Kobe.

A match-up between the league leaders and the defending champions promises to deliver exciting action and both Vissel and Yokohama did not disappoint on Saturday, with the two teams exchanging four goals between them in the first half.

Koya Yuruki gave hosts Vissel the lead in the 19th minute after he had taken advantage of a Yokohama defensive error to slot home into an empty goal, before Yuya Osako seemingly set the Bulls for a straightforward victory after he had headed in a Yuruki cross into Jun Ichimori’s goal in the 28th minute.

However, Anderson Lopes pulled one back for Yokohama in the 33rd minute with a well-taken finish, before midfielder Kota Watanabe drew Kevin Muscat’s men level in the third minute of stoppage time with a curler into the top corner of Daiya Maekawa’s goal.

Osako thought that he had won the game for Vissel after he had scored moments into the second half, however the goal was ruled out for offside.

With eight minutes to go in the clock, Lopes headed in a Yan Matheus cross to clinch all three points for Yokohama.

Despite defeat, Vissel remain top of the J1, however they are only one point above 2nd placed Nagoya Grampus – who drew 2-2 with Shonan Bellmare on Sunday – and two points above 3rd placed Yokohama.