Brazilian forward Leandro scored the deciding goal to help Vissel Kobe to a 3-2 win Sunday over former champions Jubilo Iwata in the Japanese J-League.
The defeat was Iwata's first at home this season, and came despite their fightback from 2-0 down thanks to goals by Robert Cullen and Sho Naruoka in the 28th and 37th minutes respectively.
Leandro cancelled out their good work with a 13-metre, right-footed shot in the 76th minute, and Kobe held on to claim victory. It was the Brazilian's second goal of the day and his fifth this season.
"We played sometimes good and sometimes bad, but a win is what we really wanted to get. I'm really glad that we gained three points from the win. It was a big win for my team," said Kobe coach Hiroshi Matsuda.
Iwata's Brazilian coach Dias Batista Adilson said his players were careless. "We adjusted after losing two goals and created some chances, but we couldn't score another goal afterwards," said Adilson.
"We played better in the second half, but again, as has happened many times, my players were careless at a throw-in, which allowed Kobe to make a chance and score the decisive third goal. That's what happened today."
In the only other game on Sunday, Takashi Fukunishi's 69th minute goal from 30 metres out enabled FC Tokyo to beat Yokohama Marinos 1-0.