Vissel woes deepen as Antlers seal Nabisco Cup win

Vissel woes deepen as Antlers seal Nabisco Cup win

Kazuya Yamamura and Shuhei Akasaki struck to lift Kashima Antlers to a 2-1 win at Vissel Kobe in the first leg of the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.

Matasada Ishii’s men seized the initiative in the opening stages and always looked in control against their hosts, who were on a torrid run of form entering the fixture and had just lost to the same opponents in their league clash last Saturday.

Antlers’ early pressure paid off when Yamamura opened the scoring in the 21st minute, firing his daisy-cutter through a crowd of players in the box.

The visitors did endure a scare when Hitoshi Sogahata dropped a ball at Leandro’s feet shortly afterwards, but the Brazilian could only turn against the post.

Instead, their nerves eased when Akasaki produced a tidy finish to double his side’s lead, although he was later guilty of giving away the ball in the action that led up to Vissel’s consolation goal.

Half-time substitute Michihiro Yasuda made the impact Nelsinho desired, robbing the forward before crossing for Takuya Iwanami to net with a towering header.

However, there would be no comeback for Vissel, who next travel to Kashima Stadium for the second leg on Sunday needing to win by at least two clear goals if they are to progress to the final.

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