SHIZUOKA – Vissel Kobe ended Shimizu S-Pulse’s perfect start to the Nabisco Cup campaign with a 2-1 away win on Saturday.
Jung Woo-young opened the scoring for Kobe shortly after the half hour. Milivoje Novakovic equalized on the other side of halftime in the 63rd minute, but Vissel had the last laugh, Takuya Iwanami deciding the Group A affair three minutes to time.
Shimizu dropped their first points of the league cup, and sit on nine points from four games. Afshin Ghotbi’s side were unseated by Gamba Osaka, who moved three points clear by defeating FC Tokyo 3-1 at the Expo ’70 Stadium behind Takashi Usami’s double.
Sagan Tosu collected their first points with a 2-0 home win against Vegalta Sendai.
In Group B, Ventforet Kofu wrested the lead with a 3-0 victory at home over Omiya Ardija thanks to Cristiano’s first-half brace.
Kofu have 10 points from five games, one point more than Urawa Reds, who fortunately beat Albirex in Niigata 1-0 with an 88th-minute own goal.
Goals from Keiji Tamada and Yoshizumi Ogawa sent Grampus past Tokushima Vortis 2-1 in Nagoya. Hapless Tokushima have lost all four matches in the competition.