KOBE (Kyodo) -- Captain Yoichiro Kakitani struck midway through the second half to give 10-man Cerezo Osaka a 1-0 win against Vissel Kobe in the J-League first division on Wednesday.
Second-place Cerezo were reduced to 10 men in the 33rd minute of the Hanshin Derby after forward Ken Tokura earned a straight red for a reckless challenge that left Kobe goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa bleeding from the forehead.
Andres Iniesta helped Kobe apply early pressure at Noevir Stadium, orchestrating play in his return to the starting lineup following an ankle injury.
Thorsten Fink's men sought to press their numerical advantage following Tokura's dismissal and spent the rest of the half camped around the opposing area but only managed a single shot on target by the interval.
Kobe came out aggressively in the second half but conceded against the run of play in the 62nd minute when Kakitani scored with a glancing header off a ball whipped into the box by Leandro Desabato.
The home side continued to dominate the ball as they pressed forward in search of an equalizer, but poor finishing, along with stout defending from Miguel Angel Lotina's men, kept the score unchanged.
"We didn't have many chances, but fought for 90 minutes to get the result. We really defended solidly when we needed to. I'm very happy with the effort," Kakitani said.
In the night's other J1 matches, third-place FC Tokyo lost 3-2 against Oita Trinita at Ajinomoto Stadium, where all five goals were scored in the second half.
Brazilian forward Erik bagged a brace before halftime at Nissan Stadium to help Yokohama F Marinos boss Ange Postecoglou claim bragging rights in a 3-0 win against a Shimizu S-Pulse side managed by his former assistant Peter Cklamovski.
Consadole Sapporo were 2-0 winners away to Sagan Tosu, with Yoshiaki Komai and Anderson Lopes finding the net in the second half.