Hard luck for Iniesta, Torres in debut Japanese league matches

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Tokyo, July 22 (IANS) Veteran Spaniards Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres had unfortunate debuts on Sunday in the Japanese football league, with their respective teams suffering home defeats.

Former Barcelona midfielder Iniesta, who arrived on Wednesday in Japan to join Vissel Kobe, made his debut during his side’s 0-3 defeat against Shonan Bellmare in the J1 League, reports Efe.

Although he was not in the starting lineup, Iniesta entered the field in the 59th minute when his side was down 0-2, and received great ovation from the fans.

Iniesta, who was presented as a player of Vissel Kobe on May 26 wearing jersey No.8, had previously been on international duty at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where Spain were eliminated by the hosts in the last-16 round.

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Vissel Kobe’s defeat on Sunday came after the Japanese club earned three straight victories, and they hold the sixth position in the league with 25 points after 17 matches.

Ex-Atletico Madrid forward Torres also had a rough start to his Japanese season, as his new side Sagan Tosu fell 0-1 to Vegalta Sendai after conceding a goal just two minutes before the end of the game.

The former Liverpool forward, who wore jersey No. 9, entered the pitch in the 50th minute and took part in some important plays but failed to score.

Torres was presented on July 16 as a new player for Sagan Tosu, who hold the penultimate position in the Japanese league, six days after it was announced in Madrid that he had joined the Japanese side.

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