• Kyodo


Junya Ito’s second-half brace helped Kashiwa Reysol end a two-game losing skid in the J. League with a 2-1 home victory over Vissel Kobe.

After a scoreless first-half defensive struggle, Ito broke the ice with an opportunistic 68th-minute solo effort. Junya Tanaka equalized in the 74th minute, when he headed in a Naoyuki Fujita corner.

But Ito would have the last word as he bundled home an easy goal following a fantastic buildup by the hosts in the 86th minute.

“We haven’t been winning, so it felt good to get on the scoresheet and it feels great to win,” Ito said.

Getting the ball on the right flank, Ito exploited some slack defending by dribbling into space at the top of the penalty area and unleashing a rocket for his first goal of the season.

After Tanaka equalized, Ito took advantage of solid teamwork to give the home fans something to smile about.

Cristiano unlocked the Vissel defense with a through pass to Ryuta Koike, whose cross set up a Ryohei Yamazaki missile that ‘keeper Kim Seung-gyu blocked with his hand. The ball flew to Ito, who had a clear shot and blasted it past two defenders.

“I got lucky in the way the ball spilled toward me,” Ito said. “It was not a difficult shot. I only kicked it in, but I did it well.”

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.