Torres victorious in first clash with Iniesta in Japan

Fernando Torres recently joined Sagan Tosu. (Reuters pic)

TOKYO: Fernando Torres scored his first goal in Japanese football as his Sagan Tosu side defeated Andrés Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Emperor’s Cup.

The match marked the first time the Spaniards have met since moving to the J1 League this summer. Torres and former Barcelona legend Iniesta both started the match on the substitutes’ bench before being introduced in the second half.

By that stage Sagan Tosu were already two goals to the good but there was still time left for Torres, who has struggled since his move to Japan from Atlético Madrid, to score his first goal for the club in the 84th minute and wrap up the victory.

“It is normal, (when you) get to a new place (to take time to adjust),” Kyodo News reported Torres as saying after the match.

Torres will be hoping this goal in Japan’s main domestic cup competition will be the boost he needs as his club look to scramble out of the relegation zone in the J1 League.

Sagan Tosu are currently in the relegation play-off spot in the J1 League with 11 games of the season remaining.

Iniesta has had more fortune since his move in July, with Kobe currently in fourth place and chasing an AFC Champions League qualification spot.