On this day in J.League history …

(Rodrigo receives a pass from compatriot Will, and he slots past Vissel Kobe goalkeeper Fumiya Iwamaru to score his second of the match and Oita Trinita’s eighth. The 8-0 win for the Azzurro remains the biggest win without conceding a goal and the joint highest aggregate victory in J.League history)

26 July 2003

Matchday Fourteen of the 2003 season’s first stage saw Oita Trinita travel to the Kobe Wing Stadium to face Vissel. Trinita, managed by Shinji Kobayashi, languished in fifteenth position in a league of only sixteen clubs, and had won only three of their matches, scoring just twelve times in thirteen games. Vissel, who had been steadily improving upon their league finishes since their promotion to the J.League in 1997, were five points clear in tenth, but were a club under increasing financial pressure, an issue that would result in their sale to Rakuten’s parent group just six months later, and Hiroshi Mikitani’s caustic decision to change their home strip to crimson from their traditional black and white stripes.

Defender Tetsuya Yamazaki, who made 104 appearances for the Azzurro, scored the opening goal of the match in the sixth minute, one of just four in his decade-long career. The first of two own goals then followed to make the lead 2-0, before an additional two goals in the space of two minutes and a straight red card for Vissel centre-back Yukio Tsuchiya gave Oita both a comfortable four-goal cushion and the benefit of an additional player heading in to the interval.

Six minutes after the restart the home side saw their numbers diminish further as Naoto Matsuo picked up his second yellow card of the tie, and Trinita were in no mood for leniency as Yoshito Terakawa, then Will netted to make the scoreline 6-0. Sixty seconds after the Brazilian forward had scored, an embarrassing second own goal was conceded with a full quarter of the contest still to play. The humiliation was complete when in the 86th minute Brazilian journeyman midfielder Rodrigo scored the eighth and final goal of the match for an 8-0 victory. The two records set this day are still unbroken, the biggest win without conceding a goal and the joint highest aggregate victory in J.League history in Trinita’s hands.

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