After four no-shows at high-capacity stadiums in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area and just one Kanto appearance last October in Kawasaki, Andres Iniesta finally stood on a pitch in the capital in front of over 38,000 fans.

Even Saturday's persistent rain stopped to take in Saturday's action at Ajinomoto Stadium, as Iniesta scored in the 49th minute to give his Vissel Kobe a crucial 1-0 win over J. League first-division leader FC Tokyo.

"The most wonderful goal is a goal that helps your team win points," a smiling Iniesta told a crush of reporters. "We needed this win and I understand how important it is to beat the league leader."