Football: Leaders Kobe recover to fend off Shonan, stay top in J1


Vissel Kobe downed Shonan Bellmare 2-0 at home in the J-League first division on Saturday, bouncing back from their second defeat of the season a week ago to remain top.

After losing 3-2 at home to holders Yokohama F Marinos, Kobe put in a gutsy performance against a tenacious Shonan side and prevailed thanks to Ryo Hatsuse’s first-half free-kick and Hotaru Yamaguchi’s goal late on, moving up to 22 points.

In a busy opening period, Kobe’s Koya Yuruki and Shonan’s Japan forward Shuto Machino both forced their opposing keepers to diving saves with low efforts before Shonan left-back Daiki Sugiok...

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