Feb 8 (Reuters) - Vissel Kobe beat reigning J-League champions Yokohama F Marinos to capture the Japanese Super Cup on Saturday, but not before a nervy shootout display by both teams in which nine successive penalties were missed.
After a 3-3 draw in regulation time at the Saitama Stadium, the tie was evenly balanced at 2-2 after the first four penalty kicks of the shootout, including one by Kobe skipper and Spain great Andres Iniesta, were all converted.
Matters then descended into farce with the following nine efforts all missing the target — mostly due to poor finishing — before Hotaru Yamaguchi drilled his shot in to secure the sudden-death win for Kobe in front of more than 50,000 fans.
It was the second trophy of the year for Kobe, who won the Emperor’s Cup last month to set up the clash against Yokohama in the annual one-match competition. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)