Podolski Goal Powers Vissel Kobe to 1st Win in J-League

Germany's Lukas Podolski after scoring the opening goal during a friendly match between Germany and England in 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. Photo: Ina Fassbender / Associated Press
Germany's Lukas Podolski after scoring the opening goal during a friendly match between Germany and England in 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. Photo: Ina Fassbender / Associated Press

KOBE, Japan — German striker Lukas Podolski scored late in the second half on Sunday as Vissel Kobe beat Cerezo Osaka 2-0 for its first win of the J-League season.

Naoyuki Fujita gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute and Podolski secured the win on a left-foot shot with eight minutes remaining in regulation.

It was the first goal of the season for Podolski, who last year moved from Turkish club Galatasaray after signing a deal with Kobe estimated to be worth USD$5.3 million.

Elsewhere, Thai midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin scored late in stoppage time to lift Consadole Sapporo to a 2-1 win over V-Varen Nagasaki.

Takuma Abe scored midway through the second half to give Vegalta Sendai a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with Shimizu S-Pulse, while Diego Oliveira scored his first goal of the season as FC Tokyo beat Shonan Bellmare 1-0.

Gamba Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol finished 2-2.