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All- Japan Shakaijin 2007
The 2007 All-Japan Shakaijin tournament for clubs in the Regional Leagues and below has been won by FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu from Kansai - and as a result they will now proceed to the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off competition at the end of next month, in order to compete fro a place in the JFL. FC Mi-o beat Tokai-based company side Yazaki Valente in the Shakaijin final in Oita on Wednesday, after having battled through an extremely tough series of matches over the last few days.

The tournament began on Saturday, Mi-o claiming a good 2-1 win over Kyushu League leaders Honda Lock while their local rivals and Kansai champions Banditonce Kobe were the victims of the shock result of the First Round, losing 4-3 to Okinawa Kariyushi. In Sunday's Second Round, V Varen Nagasaki emerged as strong candidates by squeezing past Hokushinetsu League champions Matsumoto Yamaga Club on penalties - but FC Mi-o again impressed with a victory over the best team from Kanto, FC Machida Zelvia.

Into the last eight on Monday, the eventual winners once more had just about the most difficult match on offer but nevertheless claimed a 3-1 win against New Wave Kitakyushu. Yazaki Valente kept their run going by eliminating Ain Food on penalties, while V Varen beat Kanto's YSCC and tournament surprise package Kariyushi overcame AS Laranja Kyoto.

The big match in the Semi-Finals on Tuesday, then, pitched together FC Mi-o with a V Varen team desperate to hold on to the Shakaijin crown that they won last season - not least because qualification for the Regional League Play-offs via the normal route of the league is looking beyond them. But the dreams of the Kyushu side were shattered by a single goal early in the second half, while in the other game Yazaki claimed their place in the Final thanks to another win on penalties. FC Mi-o deservedly prevailed, however, and now go on to the Regional League Play-offs for another attempt at a JFL spot.

The full results of the Shakaijin tournament in Oita are as follows:

Sat 13 Oct: AS Laranja Kyoto 2-2 Nippon Steel Oita (PK 4-3)
Sat 13 Oct: Banditonce Kobe 3-4 Okinawa Kariyushi (AET)
Sat 13 Oct: Chukyo University 2-6 Zweigen Kanazawa
Sat 13 Oct: Fujieda City Hall 6-0 Kyokushukai
Sat 13 Oct: Furukawa Electrics Chiba 2-3 FC Central Chugoku
Sat 13 Oct: Honda Lock 1-2 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu
Sat 13 Oct: Kamatamare Sanuki 1-0 Sagawa Computer System (AET)
Sat 13 Oct: Luminozo Sayama 1-1 Japan Soccer College (PK 3-2)
Sat 13 Oct: Maruyasu Industries 1-2 FC Machida Zelvia
Sat 13 Oct: Matsumoto Yamaga Club 3-0 Toyota Motors Hokkaido
Sat 13 Oct: Nangoku Kochi 0-6 Ain Food
Sat 13 Oct: Norbritz Hokkaido 0-1 Yazaki Valente
Sat 13 Oct: Takada FC 0-4 New Wave Kitakyushu
Sat 13 Oct: Tonan SC Gunma 1-4 NEC Tokin
Sat 13 Oct: V Varen Nagasaki 5-1 Toshiba Fuchu
Sat 13 Oct: YSCC 1-1 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku (PK 5-3)

Sun 14 Oct: Ain Food 4-0 NEC Tokin
Sun 14 Oct: AS Laranja Kyoto 2-1 FC Central Chugoku
Sun 14 Oct: FC Machida Zelvia 0-2 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu
Sun 14 Oct: Fujieda City Hall 0-1 Okinawa Kariyushi
Sun 14 Oct: Kamatamare Sanuki 0-1 New Wave Kitakyushu
Sun 14 Oct: Luminozo Sayama 1-2 Yazaki Valente
Sun 14 Oct: V Varen Nagasaki 1-1 Matsumoto Yamaga Club (PK 4-2)
Sun 14 Oct: Zweigen Kanazawa 2-3 YSCC

Mon 15 Oct: Ain Food 0-0 Yazaki Valente (PK 4-5)
Mon 15 Oct: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 3-1 New Wave Kitakyushu
Mon 15 Oct: Okinawa Kariyushi 1-0 AS Laranja Kyoto
Mon 15 Oct: V Varen Nagasaki 2-0 YSCC

Tue 16 Oct: Okinawa Kariyushi 1-1 Yazaki Valente (PK 3-5)
Tue 16 Oct: V Varen Nagasaki 0-1 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu

Wed 17 Oct: Yazaki Valente 1-3 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu
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All-Japan Shakaijin
This coming weekend sees the annual All-Japan Shakaijin tournament take place in Oita prefecture. The Shakaijin is essnetially open to teams from below the JFL within the Japanese pyramid system and is therefore populated mostly by Regional League teams from across the country, although this year as usual there are also a small number of Prefectural League sides as well, most notably Hokkaido Block League club Kyokushukai, Sagawa Computer System from the lower reaches of the Tokyo Prefectural League and local powerhouses Tonan SC Gunma.

The competition has grown in importance since the JFA decided a year ago that there would be some connection between the Shakaijin and qualification for the end-of-season Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off, by which promotion to the third-tier JFL is achieved. Naturally, there is a fair degree of crossover between clubs that do well in their league football and qualify for the finals of this knock-out tournament; but essentially, one space in the Play-offs is open to a team that both, (a) fails to qualify for the Play-offs via their Regional League, but also, (b) either wins or finishes runner-up of the Shakaijin.

V Varen Nagasaki are one team who may have cause to be grateful for this additional route to the Play-offs, given that it seems likely that the ambitious Kyushu League side may end up squeezed out of the top two come the end of their league season. The most obvious other examples of clubs that have the ambition and perhaps the quality to compete, but have not done well enough in the regular league season are both from Hokushinetsu. Japan Soccer College have played consistently well over the last few years and won the title in 2006, while Zweigen Kanazawa eliminated both FC Kariya and Rosso Kumamoto from the JFL on their way to the Third Round of this year's Emperor's Cup.

The draw for Saturday's Shakaijin First Round is as follows:

AS Laranja Kyoto - Nippon Steel Oita
Banditonce Kobe - Okinawa Kariyushi
Chukyo University - Zweigen Kanazawa
Fujieda City Hall - Kyokushukai
Furukawa Electrics Chiba - FC Central Chugoku
Honda Lock - FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu
Kamatamare Sanuki - Sagawa Computer System
Luminozo Sayama - Japan Soccer College
Maruyasu Industry - FC Machida Zelvia
Matsumoto Yamaga Club - Toyota Motors Hokkaido
Nangoku Kochi - Ain Foods
Norbritz Hokkaido - Yazaki Valente
Takada FC - New Wave Kitakyushu
Tonan SC Gunma - NEC Tokin
V Varen Nagasaki - Toshiba Fuchu
YSCC - Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
All-Japan Shakaijin - Kansai Qualification Tournament
Sat 28 Jul: Estrela Tsuda 0-3 Hannan University
Sat 28 Jul: FC Kyoto BAMB 1-0 FC Osaka

Sun 29 Jul: Ain Food 5-1 FC Bacchus 2002
Sun 29 Jul: Banditonce Kobe 4-2 Kumiyama FC
Sun 29 Jul: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 7-0 Matsushita Electrics
Sun 29 Jul: BSC ROSAGE 1-0 Suita Giocatore Senri
Sun 29 Jul: Nissha Printing 0-1 Central SC
Sun 29 Jul: Hainan FC 3-0 FC Kakogawa
Sun 29 Jul: AS Laranja Kyoto 4-1 Tonan Club
Sun 29 Jul: Tatsuno FC 1-1 Takada FC (PK 4-5)

Sat 04 Aug: Ain Food 2-0 Hainan FC

Sun 05 Aug: Banditonce Kobe 5-1 BSC Rosage
Sun 05 Aug: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 3-1 Central SC
Sun 05 Aug: FC Kyoto BAMB 1-3 Takada FC
Sun 05 Aug: AS Laranja Kyoto 1-0 Hannan University

Ain Food, Banditonce Kobe, FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu, FC Kyoto BAMB and AS Laranja Kyoto therefore qualify for the national finals in Oita in October.
All-Japan Shakaijin - Shikoku Qualification Tournament
第43回全国社会人サッカー選手権大会 四国大会

Sat 28 Jul: Kochi Toyopet Showa FC 1-2 Sanyo Electric Tokushima
Sat 28 Jul: Minami Club 1-1 Ventana AC (PK 2-3)
Sat 28 Jul: Nangoku Kochi 3-0 Byakkotai
Sat 28 Jul: Yawatahama 0-5 Kamatamare Sanuki

Sun 29 Jul: Nangoku Kochi 4-0 Ventana AC
Sun 29 Jul: Sanyo Electric Tokushima 0-2 Kamatamare Sanuki

Kamatamare Sanuki and Nangoku Kochi therefore qualify for the national finals in Oita in October.
All-Japan Shakaijin 2007 - Chugoku Qualification Tournament
第43回全国社会人サッカー選手権中国予選

Sat 14 Jul: Fagiano Okayama 5-0 Matsue RM Friends
Sat 14 Jul: Mazda SC 3-2 Tottori KFC
Sat 14 Jul: SC Matsue 0-1 Nippon Oil Mizushima
Sat 14 Jul: FC Ube Yahhh-Man 0-4 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
Sat 14 Jul: Genki SC 2-1 NTN Okayama
Sat 14 Jul: JFE Steel Western Japan 0-4 Renofa Yamaguchi
Sat 14 Jul: Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 0-5 Fuji Xerox Hiroshima
Sat 14 Jul: FC Mizushima 2-7 FC Central Chugoku

Sun 15 Jul: Fagiano Okayama 1-2 Mazda SC
Sun 15 Jul: Nippon Oil Mizushima 2-4 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
Sun 15 Jul: Genki SC 0-0 Renofa Yamaguchi (PK 3-0)
Sun 15 Jul: Fuji Xerox Hiroshima 1-2 FC Central Chugoku

Mon 16 Jul: Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 2-1 Mazda SC
Mon 16 Jul: Genki SC 0-3 FC Central Chugoku

Mon 16 Jul: Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 2-0 FC Central Chugoku

Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku and FC Central Chugoku therefore qualify for the finals in October in Oita.
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