Soccer

Hiroki Abe nets first goal for Barcelona B

Kyodo

Japanese attacker Hiroki Abe scored his maiden goal for Barcelona B in a 3-3 draw against Cornella on Sunday.

The Spanish third-tier clash at Johan Cruyff Stadium was Abe’s 10th appearance for the Barcelona reserve team since transferring from J. League side Kashima Antlers in July.

Starting at center forward, the 20-year-old netted in the 23rd minute to give his team a 2-0 lead following an opening goal from Carles Perez.

The visitors struck back with three straight goals and looked set for victory before Spanish midfielder Monchu salvaged the draw with an injury-time penalty.

Despite scoring for the first time in Spain, Abe said he was mostly concerned about the result of the game.

“I’m feeling disappointed about the team not winning more than anything,” said Abe, who has played mostly on the left wing.

During a pre-season tour of Japan, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Abe, the 2018 J. League Young Player of the Year, had the talent to become “a very important player” for the club’s first team.