Podolski goal powers Vissel Kobe to 1st win in J-League

Vissel Kobe's Lukas Podolski, right, scores a goal against Cerezo Osaka in the second half of their J-League season soccer match in Kobe, western Japan, Sunday, March 18, 2018. Kobe won 2-0. (Kyodo News via AP)
Vissel Kobe's Lukas Podolski (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against Cerezo Osaka during their J-League season soccer match in Kobe, western Japan, Sunday, March 18, 2018. Kobe won 2-0. (Kyodo News via AP)

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 $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.

Mu Kanazaki scored the only goal as Kashima Antlers beat Sagan Tosu 1-0, Gamba Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol finished 2-2 and Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Jubilo Iwata ended in a goalless draw.

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