Serginho scores as Kashima beats struggling Kobe in J-League
TOKYO (AP) — Serginho scored his first goal of the season on Sunday as Kashima Antlers beat struggling Vissel Kobe 1-0 in the J-League.
The Brazilian forward scored on a volley in the 17th minute to hand Vissel its sixth straight loss.
Despite a squad that features several big-name international players, Vissel has only three wins in 11 matches this season and is in 13th place in the 18-team league.
Kashima moved into fifth place on 20 points, seven behind leaders FC Tokyo which beat Jubilo Iwata 1-0.
Andres Iniesta came off the bench for Kobe in the 68th minute, substituting for former Barcelona teammate Sergi Samper.
Former Spain striker David Villa started for Vissel, while former Germany forward Lukas Podolski remained sidelined with a hamstring injury.
In other matches, second-place Nagoya Grampus beat Urawa Reds 2-0 with goals from Brazilians Jo and Mateus.
Oita Trinita edged Shonan Bellmare 1-0.
Yoshiki Matsushita scored the winner in injury time as Vegalta Sendai beat Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1.