Villa scores 1st goal in Japan as Kobe beats Sagan Tosu 1-0

Vissel Kobe's Andres Iniesta, left, controls the ball against Sagan Tosu during a J-League soccer match in Kobe, western Japan, Saturday, March 2, 2019.(Kyodo News via AP)
Vissel Kobe's Lukas Podolski, center, controls the ball against Sagan Tosu's Fernando Torres, center left, during a J-League soccer match in Kobe, western Japan, Saturday, March 2, 2019.(Kyodo News via AP)
Vissel Kobe's David Villa scores his first goal in Japan against Sagan Tosu during a J-League soccer match in Kobe, western Japan, Saturday, March 2, 2019.(Kyodo News via AP)

KOBE, Japan — David Villa scored his first goal in Japan as Vissel Kobe beat Sagan Tosu 1-0 in the J-League on Saturday.

Villa gave the hosts a 1-0 lead nine minutes after the break when he beat Sagan goalkeeper Takuo Okubo with a right-foot shot from 18 meters.

The 36-year-old Villa has been reunited with former Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta at Kobe. Villa scored 59 goals in 98 appearances for Spain from 2004-17, including five goals at the 2010 World Cup as his nation won its first title. He scored four goals for Spain en route to the 2008 European Championship title.

Before signing with Kobe, the Spanish forward spent four seasons with New York City FC, scoring 80 goals in 124 MLS appearances.

In other matches, Edigar Junio scored twice as Yokohama F Marinos edged Vegalta Sendai 2-1.

Junio scored from the penalty spot in the 27th minute and doubled the advantage 10 minutes later as Yokohama improved to 2-0.

Naoki Ishihara scored in the final minute of regulation for Sendai.

Gamba Osaka thrashed Shimizu S-Pulse 4-2 while Nagoya Grampus beat Cerezo Osaka 2-0.

____

For more AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

People also read these

Nadal saves 2 match points, advances at China Open

Oct 3, 2017

Rafael Nadal needed to save two match points before advancing to the second round at the China Open

Hong Kong leader: Reject threats to China's...

Oct 11, 2017

Hong Kong's leader says residents are obliged to reject threats to China's sovereignty, in what...

Michelle Yeoh: Weinstein a 'bully,' 'not always...

Oct 17, 2017

Actress Michelle Yeoh says she was aware of Harvey Weinstein's reputation and would have unleashed...

Koepka opens with a 64 to lead HSBC Champions

Oct 26, 2017

Koepka starts his adventures in Asia with a water shot and a 64 to lead the HSBC Champions

Verstappen, Hamilton ready tangle again in...

Apr 12, 2018

Get set for Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton to tangle again in the Chinese Grand Prix