East Asia Japan

Supachok Scores in Iniesta’s J.League Swan Song

Thailand international winger Supachok Sarachat was on the scoresheet for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo as they played out a 1-1 draw away at Vissel Kobe in Saturday’s J.League 1 action, in a match billed as Andres Iniesta’s final bow for Vissel as the Spain legend is set to leave the club this month.

With much of the match’s fanfare focused around Iniesta’s final appearance as a Vissel player, it was former Buriram United man Supachok who stole the show in the first half, giving Consadole the lead in the 26th minute.

A cross from the right flank from Takuro Kaneko was punched away by Vissel goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa, however Supachok was there with his predatory instincts to tap-in the rebound.

With Consadole now having the advantage, it was time for Iniesta – who captained Vissel on Saturday night – to show his magic, inspiring the likes of Gotoku Sakai as well as causing all sorts of trouble for the Consadole defense.

Tears were inevitably shed when Iniesta was taken off in the 57th minute, with the former Barcelona maestro being given a deserving send-off as he was being replaced by Daiju Sasaki.

Iniesta finished his J1 career with 114 league appearances, 21 league goals, one Emperor’s Cup and one Japanese Super Cup.

Vissel finally drew level in the 85th minute, with a corner kick resulting in Matheus Thuler slamming home a header past Consadole goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno.

The solitary point meant that Vissel drop to third in the J1 table, with title rivals Nagoya Grampus moving up to 2nd with a 2-0 win over Kawasaki Frontale. Consadole, on the other hand, sat eighth in the league table.