KOBE – Brazilian striker Oseas grabbed a second-half hat trick as unfashionable Vissel Kobe pulled off a stunning 4-2 win over defending J. League champion Jubilo Iwata in the Nabisco Cup on Saturday.
Kobe, which narrowly avoided relegation to the second division last season, took the lead when Oseas capitalized on a defensive error to grab the first of his treble 12 minutes after the interval at Kobe Universiade Stadium.
In-form striker Gral netted his fourth goal in three games to level for the visitors but Harison restored Kobe’s advantage before Oseas headed home twice in five minutes to put the game out of reach of Iwata, whose late goal through veteran striker Masashi Nakayama was of scant consolation.
Kobe tops Group A with a maximum six points from two games with Iwata in second. Tokyo Verdy collected its first points of the competition after an Atsuhiro Miura penalty gave it a 1-0 win at Urawa Reds in the other Group A game.
Reysol drops Edilson
J. League first division side Kashiwa Reysol said Saturday it has released Edilson after the Brazilian World Cup striker failed to show up for the new season.
Edilson, who won a World Cup winner’s medal last summer, signed up for a second spell at the Chiba Prefecture side in July and helped the struggling club stave off relegation with a team-high seven goals.
Bellmare wins opener
HIRATSUKA, Kanagawa Pref. — Shonan Bellmare got off to a good start in the new J. League Division Two season, beating Montedio Yamagata 2-0 in style Saturday at Hiratsuka Stadium.
Shonan, guided by former Japan assistant coach Samir, dominated the game and defender Hiroyuki Shirai put the home team ahead in the 12th minute by heading in a cross from Shingo Kumabayashi at the near post. In the 72nd minute, Kumabayashi broke down the right flank to send a cross in for Koji Sakamoto, who dashed into the area to give a tap-in for an insurance goal.
“I’m happy with our win. Our players fought hard to get this victory,” said Samir of Morocco. “But this win doesn’t secure our J1 promotion and we’ll have another 43 matches, which we will take a match at a time as if we would play in a World Cup final.”
Elsewhere, former Japan striker Shoji Jo struck to highlight Yokohama FC’s 3-1 win at Consadole Sapporo, giving his German manager Pierre Littbarski the first win; Sanfrecce Hiroshima was held to a 2-2 draw by visiting Kawasaki with Frontale’s new signing Augusto’s last-minute equalizer; Ventforet Kofu was held to a 1-1 draw by Sagan Tosu at home.
The J2 season runs through Nov. 23 and the top two finishers in the 12-team division will get promoted to J1. (Kumi Kinohara)
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