0 Min: Welcome to today’s live blog, in which I’ll be covering the Matchday Thirteen contest between Vissel Kobe and Kashima Antlers at the HOME’S Stadium. A full preview of this match can be found here”. Team news will follow very shortly:
0 Min: Vissel Kobe – Tokushige; Soma, Kitamoto, Lee K-S, Okui; Park K-J, Nozawa, Oya, Inoha; Okubo, Ogawa
Substitures – Sakigake; Mogi, Takagi; Tanaka, Mihara; Tashiro, Morioka
0 Min: Kashima Antlers – Sogahata; Iwamasa, Araiba, Aoki, Nishi; Dutra, Shibasaki, Endo, Ogasawara; Juninho, Koroki
Substitutes – Sato; Shoji; Umebachi, Masuda, Doi; Okamoto, Sasaki
0 Min: It’s a cloudy and very warm evening in Kobe, the temperature a balmly 24 degrees. Tomohiro Inoue will oversee this contest.
1 Min: The match kicks-off, and Vissel have a free kick on the left-hand side of the field, 8 yards inside the Vissel half. A drifting Takuya Nozawa cross to the right of the penalty area is harmless, and cleared.
3 Min: Nozawa takes a free-kick from a similar distance this time, choosing to bend the ball with power, but this time it’s overcooked and caught by Hitoshi Sogahata.
4 Mins: Okubo is caught in midfield after a break, and the home side take the free-kick quickly, the ball diverted out for a corner.
6 Mins: Kunie Kitamoto meets Nozawa’s corner six yards from goal, but he glances it wide of the left upright. A good start for Vissel.
7 Mins: GOAL! Turo Araiba was nearly robbed in defence by Tsubasa Oya, but instead a long clearance from the back by Kunie Kitamoto is miscontrolled by Lee Kwang-Seon. Juninho latches on to the ball, heads on and thumps the ball past Kenta Tokushige from fifteen yards.
7 Mins: Vissel Kobe 0 Kashima Antlers 1
8 Mins: Yasushi Endo skips inside two players and whips a shot from the edge of the area. Tokushige is alert to the danger, and saves comfortably.
10 Mins: Okubo has a sniff of an opportunity from 18 yards, but his shot is into the body of Sogahata.
11 Mins: A free-kick for the visitors 40 yards from goal in a relatively central position. Endo curls the ball into the area, but while there is pressure on Tokushige and Juninho sees a follow-up effort cleared off the line, referee Inoue has spotted an infringement.
14 Mins: While Vissel are playing a high-tempo pressing game and forcing Kashima to cede possession, they are struggling to retain any quality ball through a mixture of misplaced possesses and poor control. A lot of the play is currently in and around the centre circle.
17 Mins: Juninho is a casualty of a Masahiko Inoha arm into the face while he was being held by Lee Kwang-Seon. He walks off the field and Kashima are temporarily down to ten players.
20 Mins: After good play from Ogawa on the right wing, Okubo is held up inside the penalty area by Toru Araiba. He lays the ball of to Takuya Nozawa waiting outside the penalty area, but his strike is several feet off target. A disappointing attempt from the midfielder who was under little pressure.
23 Mins: Excellent work in defence and attack by Antlers right-back Daigo Nishi, breaking up opposition play before launching a counter-attack which earns his side a throw-in close to the Vissel goal-line.
23 Mins: Halfway through the first period of play, it’s Vissel Kobe 0 Kashima Antlers 1
27 Mins: Some lovely raking passes through midfield are finding Nozawa on the right, but Vissel have taken little advantage of some promising positions.
29 Mins: A Vissel attack breaks down after some good one- and two-touch play, Ryo Okui culpable as he sends a cross straight out of play.
34 Mins: Vissel looking to build moves out defence, Okui’s hanging delivery headed back across goal by Ogawa, but Okubo can’t connect with his overhead kick and the opportunity passes.
37 Mins: Nozawa drags a shot from distance narrowly wide of Hitoshi Sogahata’s right upright.
39 Mins: Mitsuo Ogasawaro bundles over Yoshito Okubo from behind, and Nozawa has a free-kick 40 yards from goal.
40 Mins: A Nozawa set piece fails to find one of his players, Sogahata getting a strong fist to the ball, and with Kunie Kitamoto being adjudged to be in an offside position, Kashima can clear.
42 Mins: Ryo Okui has been playing in a very advanced position this half, attacking down the right flank at every opportunity. The Antlers have been the equal of any threat to this point, however, Daigo Nishi and Toru Araiba in particular very good at the back.
45 Mins: There’s a scramble in the goalmouth as Dutra shoots right-footed across Sogahata with Kitamoto unable to block, and the goalkeeper can’t hold his fierce strike. Juninho tries to follow-up, but can’t place the loose ball into the goal as his attempt hits his teammate.
45 Mins+2: Tomohiro Inoue blows his whistle, and it’s half-time.
HT: Kashima Antlers 0 Vissel Kobe 1
HT: An odd first period. Neither side have been commanding in midfield, though the share of possession and territory has been in the home side’s favour. The Antlers, however, have been gifted a goal through shabby defending, and Vissel nearly coughed up a second through a further error, only Juninho’s inability to find the target preventing them going into the interval two goals behind.
HT: Yuzo Tashiro takes to the field in place of the largely invisible Park Kang-Jo, the only change at the break.
46 Mins: Back underway at the HOME’S Stadium, Vissel kicking off.
50 Mins: A similar start in the second period to the first. Masahiko Inoha is then shown a yellow card for pulling down.
50 Mins: Ogasawara takes the free-kick, a glancing header from Takeshi Aoki very close to extending Kashima’s lead as it’s inches wide from the left post.
51 Mins: GOAL! Endo’s left-footed crossfield pass finds Dutra beautifully, who controls and advances in to the penalty area. Lee Kwang-Seon should do better and has the opportunity to win a tackle to play the ball for a corner, but fails to do so. Dutra prods to his right, and Shinzo Koroki is able to tap in from just a yard with Tokushige beaten at his near post.
54 Mins: Lee Kwang-Seon, who has been at fault for both goals, is substituted for Ryota Morioka.
56 Mins: A long ball finds Tashiro on the edge of the Antlers penalty area, and he controls the ball well on his chest. However, he’s quickly surrounded by a swarming Kashima defence, and Mitsuo Ogasawara sends the ball out of play.
59 Mins: A corner for the home side. Nozawa, whose delivery has been found wanting so far, is to take. Dutra heads clear on the six yard line.
60 Mins: Mitsuo Ogasawara makes his annoyance at being penalised clear to referee Inoue, as he believes Nozawa went to ground too easily. The decision is, however, correct.
60 Mins: Keijiro Ogawa forces a point-blank stop out of Hitoshi Sogahata after Nozawa’s free-kick from the right is headed on by Kitamoto, but the forward is correctly deemed to be offside.
63 Mins: Antlers conceding free-kick after free-kick ten to fifteen yards from their goal, but the home side are still not finding a way through a tidy Kashima defence.
64 Mins: Substitute Ryota Morioka drives from outside the penalty area, beating three Antlers players, but his shot is too close to Sogahata, and he claims low to his left.
66 Mins: With three-quarters of the match gone, it’s Vissel Kobe 0 Kashima Antlers 2.
68 Mins: Shinzo Koroki has a chance to score a second and put this game beyond Vissel’s reach. He is sliding to reach a ball, but can’t find the right touch with his outstretched boot to put it past the advancing Tokushige.
70 Mins: Roughly twenty minutes remaining and it has now become a game of attack versus counter-attack, the Antlers back line situated around their own 18 yard box and the midfield a few yards advanced. It’s a very compact unit that will be difficult to prise open.
72 Mins: A final substitution for Vissel, as Hiroto Mogi comes on for Keijiro Ogawa. Dutra then walks off as Chikashi Masuda takes his place.
75 Mins: Mogi’s first touch is a header from sixteen yards from a Takahito Soma delivery, and while it’s well directed, there is not enough power on the effort and Sogahata is able to get across to his left to take.
76 Mins: A low shot from Nozawa is a yard wide of the left post, which Sogahata most likely had covered.
79 Mins: It’s hard to recall an attack from Kashima in these latter stages, the domination of possession by Vissel so total, but they have done very little to worry a sturdy Antlers defence.
82 Mins: Perhaps resigned to their fate, the game has gone rather stale.
84 Mins: A lovely touch from Mogi allows Morioka to pull back from the touchline, but Ogawa shoots over the bar from close range. The first real opportunity of the match wasted. The two substitutes combined well to create the chance.
85 Mins: Sogahata is shown what could be generously described as a belated yellow card for time wasting.
86 Mins: Yuzo Tashiro this time has a chance for Vissel, but excellent goalkeeping from Sogahata prevents him from finishing at a tight angle. Sogahata, when he has been required, has done the simple tings very well.
90 Mins: GOAL! A goal in the final minute of normal time from Yuzo Tashiro will make the four additional minutes more interesting.
90 Mins: Vissel Kobe 1 Kashima Antlers 2
90 Mins: Juninho exits for Shoma Doi in a change for Antlers.
90 Mins+2: Akira Nishino cuts a frustrated figure on the sidelines as he sees a decision go against Yuzo Tashiro.
90 Mins+4: Sixty seconds left in this match. Nozawa has a free-kick ten yards in from the left touchline. The curled set-piece is headed goalwards, and with the assistant referee’s flag in the air, Okubo prods the ball into Sogahata’s body.
FT: The final whistle blows. Vissel Kobe were unable to make their possession and territory tell, Kashima relatively untroubled until the final seven or eight minutes. New Vissel manager Akira Nishino will have much to consider from this performance, particularly some very soft defending which led to both goals, and a lack of a real cutting edge in attack.
FT: Vissel Kobe 1 Kashima Antlers 2
FT: Thank you for joining me. A full match report will follow on Monday 28 May.