Matchday 5 in Japan’s second tier saw Vissel Kobe return to the top of J2 while at the bottom it was another sorry day for FC Gifu (which will be covered in more detail soon).

The aforementioned Vissel Kobe recovered from the shock of going behind at home to Thespa Kusatsu Gunma to run out 4-1 winners at NOEVIR Stadium. Thespa went ahead when Kota Aoki’s long range drive was deflected over the head of Kaito Yamamoto but they were soon pegged back when Yuzo Tashiro equalized. After half an hour Popo put Kobe in front when he smacked in a superb 25+ yarder into the top corner. Vissel sealed the win with two goals after the break from Mazinho & Ogawa. The Kobe club have a lot of firepower to call upon and, although Gunma aren’t the toughest of opponents, Vissel did well to bounce back from their defeat in Kyoto. Kyoto Sanga themselves were surprisingly beaten by Kataller Toyama as Seo Yong Deok’s winner 5 minutes from time was enough to condemn Sanga to their first defeat of the season. Kataller continue to surprise people with their good start.

Gainare Tottori‘s unbeaten start continued although they will be slightly disappointed to have ¬†been held to a home draw by Tochigi SC. Gainare went in front early through Yudai Tanaka’s long range strike but Tochigi levelled on the hour through Brazilian striker Sabio. After a woeful opening, Montedio Yamagata are finally hitting their stride and the Tohoku club recorded their third straight win as they overcame Giravanz Kitakyushu at Honjo Stadium. Peruvian midfielder Romero Franck followed up his goal in the previous game with another as his close range effort put Montedio in front. Giravanz equalized on the stroke of half time as Yuji Sakuda’s foul in the area gave the Yellows a penalty. Sakuda can consider himself fortunate to stay on the pitch as he looked like the last man, but in any event Yohei Naito buried the resulting penalty. Montedio grabbed the winner 10 minutes into the second half when some neat build up play on the edge of the Giravanz area culminated in Miyasaka driving in a shot that went in off the post. Montedio are now up to third place in the table.

Gamba Osaka were held to another draw, this time failing to beat JEF United at Banpaku. JEF went in front when Jair scored after a good run but Osaka were level when Sho Kurata’s low, left footed shot found the back of the net. Gamba fans are not a happy bunch right now. Fagiano Okayama notched their first win of the season as Keita Goto’s goal in injury time gave them a 1-0 win at Yokohama FC; Mito Hollyhock were beaten 1-0 at home by an Ehime FC side who have surprised a lot of people with their impressive start. A goal from Shuichi Akai was enough for Ehime to take points back to Shikoku and Consadole Sapporo fans and players alike will have enjoyed their long journey back to Hokkaido as they beat a rapidly falling Avispa Fukuoka 1-0 at the Level 5 stadium. Hiroki Miyazawa’s cool left foot volley secured the points for Consa even though Tatsuki Nara saw red. Avispa have now lost three on the spin.

Tokyo Verdy remain winless after squandering a lead at home to Roasso Kumamoto, who can be happy with their last week’s work: winning in Matsumoto then drawing with both Gamba & Verdy. Verdy went in front with a fine Kazunori Iio goal but Roasso leveled in the last minute through Yutaro Takahashi’s bullet header. Verdy are in a sorry state and they face fellow basement dwellers Gifu next week. FC Gifu lost at home to Tokushima Vortis, and also failed to score for the 5th game running. Vortis went ahead through Korean forward Kim Jong Min, who ghosted between 3 Gifu defenders to head home. The home side had striker Fabio sent off at the beginning of the second half and the closest they came to equalizing was when Desmond’s header hit the post. There are big problems down by the Nagara River. Finally, V-Varen Nagasaki will feel aggrieved not to have come away with all three points from Matsumoto Yamaga, as a late penalty denied them. Nagasaki went ahead in route one style as a long punt into the Yamaga box was headed in by Mizunaga, but not long after they were reduced to 10 men when Daisuke Fujii was given his marching orders. Nagasaki couldn’t quite hold on as Yamaga were given a soft last minute penalty which Takayuki Funayama coolly slotted home.

J2 Matchday 5 results

  • Matsumoto Yamaga 1-1 V-Varen Nagasaki
  • Kataller Toyama 1-0 Kyoto Sanga
  • Yokohama FC – 0-1 Fagiano Okayama
  • FC Gifu 0-1 Tokushima Vortis
  • Tokyo Verdy 1-1 Roasso Kumamoto
  • Gamba Osaka 1-1 JEF United
  • Vissel Kobe 4-1 Thespa Kusatsu Gunma
  • Mito Hollyhock 0-1 Ehime FC
  • Avispa Fukuoka 0-1 Consadole Sapporo
  • Gainare Tottori 1-1 Tochigi SC
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