Lukas Podolski scores twice on J-League debut as Vissel Kobe beat Omiya Ardija

Podolski gave Kobe a 1-0 lead four minutes after the break with a left-foot shot from 23 meters.

AP July 29, 2017 18:57:47 IST
Lukas Podolski scores twice on J-League debut as Vissel Kobe beat Omiya Ardija

Kobe: German striker Lukas Podolski scored twice in his J-League debut on Saturday as Vissel Kobe beat Omiya Ardija 3-1.

Podolski gave Kobe a 1-0 lead four minutes after the break with a left-foot shot from 23 meters.

Lukas Podolski scores twice on JLeague debut as Vissel Kobe beat Omiya Ardija

Lukas Podolski celebrates after scoring a goal against Omiya Ardija. Image courtesy: Twitter/@vissel_kobe

Marcelo Toscano equalized on the hour mark but Podolski gave the hosts the lead for good two minutes later with a header.

Podolski moved from Turkish giant Galatasaray after signing a deal with Kobe estimated to be worth $5.3 million.

He is the highest-profile J-League import since Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, who played for Cerezo Osaka from 2014-15.

Hideo Tanaka scored with a long-range effort to complete the win for Kobe with 12 minutes left.

Ninth-place Kobe improved to 29 points — 12 behind leaders Cerezo Osaka, who were beaten 3-1 by crosstown rivals Gamba Osaka.

Elsewhere, Ken Tokura and Jay Bothroyd scored to give Consadole Sapporo a 2-0 win over nine-man Urawa Reds.

Tokura opened the scoring with a first-half header and Bothroyd sealed victory two minutes from time, heading home a Shinji Ono cross.

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