Vissel Kobe's 4-game win streak underneath Atsuhiro Miura seemed like a distant memory after the men from Hyogo Prefecture had failed to win their fourth league game in a row on Wednesday. Kashima Antlers paid the Misaki Park Stadium a visit in their rescheduled J.League 1 game and ran out 3-1 winners over Miura's Vissel, with Ayase Ueda, Ryuji Izumi, and Shoma Doi on target for Antonio Carlos Zago's men.
Since beating Yokohama F. Marinos 3-2 on October 4th, Vissel have failed to win their last three J1 matches after that, losing to both Kashiwa Reysol and Sanfrecce Hiroshima away and being forced to a draw at home by Oita Trinita. Wednesday's clash against Kashima was a difficult encounter for Vissel, as they're taking on an Antlers side who had put their early season struggles way behind them and are now eyeing a spot in the J1's top three.
Zago started Ueda on Wednesday, with the young striker having just recovered from an ankle injury that kept him in the sidelines sincel ate July, and immediately Ueda showed why he's being earmarked as a future attacking talent for the Japan national team. The Japan U-23 international opened the scoring for Kashima in the 12th minute, lashing in a shot from range that went straight into the bottom right corner and left Vissel custodian Daiya Maekawa utterly stunned.
Kashima then doubled their lead two minutes before half-time, with Juan Alano lapping up a Katsuya Nagato throw-in before forcing his way into the Vissel defense, setting up Izumi for a tap-in finish that went left Maekawa scrambling in a futile effort to save his goal.
Vissel managed to claw one back a minute after the hour-mark, with Noriaki Fujimoto heading in an Andres Iniesta corner into Yuya Oki's goal, however Kashima stamped their authority over their opponents from Hyogo Prefecture with a third goal in the 78th minute. Former SC Internacional player Alano was once again the inspiration behind Kashima's goal, cleverly sending a back-heel cross towards Doi who had the easy job of firing home past Maekawa. 3-1 Kashima and that was the final scoreline at the Misaki Park Stadium.
Wednesday's other rescheduled J1 matches saw defending J1 champions Yokohama triumphing 2-1 over Nagoya Grampus at the Nissan Stadium, while both Shonan Bellmare and Sagan Tosu play out a goalless draw at Shonan's Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka.