Vissel Kobe edged out local rivals Gambu Osaka 4-0 at home on Saturday to climb to the top of the J. League standings with his third straight win to open the new season.
Gotoku Sakai scored a brace, while fellow former Japan internationals and Bundesliga returnees Yuya Osako and Yoshinori Muto also scored at Noevir Stadium for Wissel, who flirted with relegation last year but scored eight goals, conceding one this season.
After 11 straight games without a win at the start of last season, Kobe’s fortunes changed with the appointment last June of manager Takayuki Yoshida, who took over the club for the third time.
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