David Villa went out a winner as his Vissel Kobe team captured the Emperors Cup Wednesday.
The World Cup champion and Queensboro FC co-owner played the final minutes of the match as Kissel Kobe recorded a 2-0 victory over the Kashima Antlers in the first soccer game at National Stadium in Tokyo.
Fellow World Cup winners Andres Iniesta and Lukas Podolski were the key figures for the the winning side, which secured its first piece of silverware ever.
The first goal scored in the new stadium, built for this year’s Olympics Games, was an own goal from Antlers defender Tomoya Inukai in the 18th minute. Kobe forward Noriaki Fujimoto added another goal in the 38th minute.
The 37-year-old Villa, who had been struggling to regain his playing fitness, was greeted by cheers from Kobe supporters. The former Spanish international tallied 13 goals in 28 league matches.
In the new year, Villa will start to build the Queensboro FC roster and name a coach. QBFC will compete in the USL Championship in 2021.
“I lived and played in New York for four years. I know what a special place Queens is,” Villa said when the team was unveiled Nov. 12. “I love the cultures, the food, the people and their passion for life and, of course, soccer. There is no other place like it in the world. It’s a dream to help build this football club in Queens and I couldn’t choose a better location.”
Villa played four years with New York City FC in Major League Soccer.