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Chugoku League
Very significant events in the Chugoku League title race to report from Sunday's fixtures, as challengers FC Central Chugoku fell to their first defeat of the season - 1-0 at emerging Renofa Yamaguchi - to hand the initiative to Fagiano Okayama. Fagiano put daylight between themselves and the other title hopefuls with a 3-2 win over 2005 championship winners Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku , although Sagawa and FC Central still have games in hand. Meanwhile, Hiroshima Fujita SC managed to avoid a fifth successive defeat but still lost on penalties to Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado to remain in serious danger of relegation, dropping below JFE Steel in the table as a result of the latter's 1-0 win over Iwami SC.

18 Jun 06 - Renofa Yamaguchi prepare to kick off against FC Central

Renofa Yamaguchi prepare to kick off against FC Central

Sun 18 Jun: Fagiano Okayama 3-2 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
Sun 18 Jun: Hiroshima Fujita SC 1-1 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado (PK 6-7)
Sun 18 Jun: JFE Steel 1-0 Iwami SC
Sun 18 Jun: Renofa Yamaguchi 1-0 FC Central Chugoku

1 Fagiano Okayama 21 (+23)
2 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 16 (+18)
3 Renofa Yamaguchi 14 (-5)
4 FC Central Chugoku 13 (+11)
5 JFE Steel 9 (-4)
6 Hiroshima Fujita SC 7 (-12)
7 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 4 (-14)
8 Iwami SC 3 (-17)
JFL - Round 15 (Sunday)
Tochigi SC failed to make up ground on the JFL's leading pair on Sunday, when they let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at an Alo's Hokuriku side who were in turn picking up their first victory in seven outings. With Rosso Kumamoto only drawing at home to form team SC Tottori, this left Sagawa Kyubin Osaka to nip in to third spot thanks to Mikito Nishihara's solitary goal midway through the first half of their match at FC Kariya.

Yokogawa Musashino remain just about on the edge of the title race following their 3-2 win at Honda Lock, who have now lost four in a row but almost stole a point against Yokogawa by scoring twice in injury time. Just one point above Lock and Ryutsu Keizai University in the relegation battle are Mitsubishi Mizushima, 1-0 losers at home to Arte Takasaki, who have steadied their season with three wins in the last five matches. FC Ryukyu, however, are struggling and lost 2-1 at home to Sony Sendai for the visitors' first win in six. In the final match of the round, JEF Club went one up early on but eventually lost 3-1 at home to Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo, for whom leading scorer Tetsuya Okubo was on target for the first time in nearly two months to notch his tenth of the season.

18 Jun 06 - FC Kariya fans feast their eyes on the match with Sagawa Kyubin Osaka

FC Kariya fans feast their eyes on the match with Sagawa Kyubin Osaka

Sun 18 Jun: Alo's Hokuriku 2-1 Tochigi SC
Sun 18 Jun: FC Kariya 0-1 Sagawa Kybin Osaka
Sun 18 Jun: FC Ryukyu 1-2 Sony Sendai
Sun 18 Jun: Honda Lock 2-3 Yokogawa Musashino
Sun 18 Jun: JEF Club 1-3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo
Sun 18 Jun: Mitsubishi Mizushima 0-1 Arte Takasaki
Sun 18 Jun: Rosso Kumamoto 1-1 SC Tottori

1 YKK AP 34 (+25)
2 Honda FC 34 (+13)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 32 (+15)
4 Rosso Kumamoto 30 (+13)
5 Tochigi SC 30 (+10)
6 Alo's Hokuriku 28 (+15)
7 Yokogawa Musashino 27 (+6)
8 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 24 (+16)
9 SC Tottori 21 (+8)
10 Sony Sendai 20 (-3)
11 Arte Takasaki 20 (-6)
12 JEF Club 15 (-5)
13 FC Kariya 14 (-14)
14 Sagawa Printing 12 (-15)
15 FC Ryukyu 10 (-7)
16 Mitsubishi Mizushima 9 (-23)
17 Ryutsu Keizai University 8 (-20)
18 Honda Lock 8 (-28)

18 Jun 06 - Kotaro Takamatsu goals for goal for Mitsubishi Mizushima against Arte Takasaki

Kotaro Takamatsu goes for goal for Mitsubishi Mizushima against Arte Takasaki
Kyushu League - Round 10
The Kyushu League is this weekend enjoying one of its occasional get togethers in one city in the region, with Oita hosting a round of fixtures on both Saturday and Sunday. Leaders V Varen Nagasaki weren't in action on Saturday, which gave the opportunity for New Wave Kitakyushu to steal a march on their rivals and move to the top of the division courtesy of a 4-2 win over Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki. But Nippon Steel Oita are not yet out of the title race, a fact which they underlined by beating relegation favourites Nanakuma Tombies 7-1 to close the gap on New Wave to just two points. In the other match, Osumi NIFS United lost for the fourth consecutive time, this time to Volca Kagoshima.

17 Jun 06 - Mitsubishi Nagasaki concede against New Wave Kitakyushu

Mitsubishi Nagasaki concede against New Wave Kitakyushu

Sat 17 Jun: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 2-4 New Wave Kitakyushu
Sat 17 Jun: Nanakuma Tombies 1-7 Nippon Steel Oita
Sat 17 Jun: Osumi NIFS United 0-3 Volca Kagoshima

1 New Wave Kitakyushu 23 (+15)
2 V Varen Nagasaki 22 (+16)
3 Nippon Steel Oita 21 (+19)
4 Volca Kagoshima 18 (+10)
5 Okinawa Kariyushi 18 (+9)
6 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 6 (-9)
7 Osumi NIFS United 6 (-15)
8 Kaiho Bank SC 4 (-13)
9 Nanakuma Tombies 2 (-32)
JFL - Round 15 (Saturday)
Only two games were played in the JFL on Saturday, but - with the 2006 season approaching its midway point - who knows how significant the results of both matches will be come the end of the year. For having looked somewhat shaky over the last few weeks while still holding on to their unbeaten record, top-of-the-table YKK AP finally fell to their first defeat, Mitsuru Mukojima's 35th-minute goal giving Honda FC a 1-0 win in Toyama. Indeed, this is a scoreline that puts the two clubs level on points at the top, four ahead of Tochigi SC. But the action at the foot of the division was equally significant, as Sagawa Printing continued their slow climb away from the relegation zone thanks to a vital 2-1 win at Ryutsu Keizai University. Sagawa leapfrog FC Ryukyu into 14th position, but this was a disastrous result for RKU, who remain tied with Honda Lock in the two relegation play-off positions.

17 Jun 06 - Mitsuru Mukojima of Honda FC enjoys a good laugh

Mitsuru Mukojima of Honda FC enjoys a good laugh

Sat 17 Jun: Ryutsu Keizai University 1-2 Sagawa Printing
Sat 17 Jun: YKK AP 0-1 Honda FC

1 YKK AP 34 (+25)
2 Honda FC 34 (+13)
3 Tochigi SC 30 (+11)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 29 (+14)
5 Rosso Kumamoto 29 (+13)
6 Alo's Hokuriku 25 (+14)
7 Yokogawa Musashino 24 (+5)
8 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 21 (+14)
9 SC Tottori 20 (+8)
10 Sony Sendai 17 (-4)
11 Arte Takasaki 17 (-7)
12 JEF Club 15 (-3)
13 FC Kariya 14 (-13)
14 Sagawa Printing 12 (-15)
15 FC Ryukyu 10 (-6)
16 Mitsubishi Mizushima 9 (-22)
17 Ryutsu Keizai University 8 (-20)
18 Honda Lock 8 (-27)
Hokushinetsu - the South American Influence
With the excitement of the Hokushinetsu League Division 1 title race showing no signs of letting up, the stakes have been raised yet further by two of the participants bringing in international assistance to aid their cause. Zweigen Kanazawa have signed an Argentinian midfielder, Gustavo Ortega, from Buenos Aires-based Club Deportivo Espanol. The 24-year-old, who lists his hobbies as internet chat and reading the Bible, made his debut in Sunday's 3-0 win over Matsumoto Yamaga.

16 Jun 06 - Gustavo Ortega, adding a little Argentinian magic to the Zweigen midfield

Gustavo Ortega, adding a little Argentinian magic to the Zweigen midfield

But Nagano Elsa have gone a step further and appointed as coach Valdeir “Badu” Vieira. The Brazilian has been working outside his own country for the last ten years, in Costa Rica, Iran, Oman and most recently Kuwait, where his last job was in charge of the top-ranking Al Arabi club. Given that Nagano have just this last weekend moved to the top of the league, this appointment has to signal a change of gear as far as their ambitions to move up into the JFL and beyond are concerned, potentially tipping the balance in their favour and away from prefectural rivals Matsumoto in terms of the J-League franchise for Nagano prefecture.

16 Jun 06 - Cheeky chappy Badu, new coach at Nagano Elsa

Cheeky chappy Badu, new coach at Nagano Elsa
Tokai League Division 2 - Round 6
Honda Suzuka extended their lead at the top of the Tokai League Division 2 on Sunday to three points, following a 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Fuyo Club, while their nearest rivals - Kasugai Club - could only pick up a 1-1 draw at a Morishin's FC scrapping for points. Bottom of the table, though, are FC Kawasaki, who sustained their sixth straight defeat at the hands of Mind House TC.

11 Jun 06 - Pic of the Week, from Morishin's FC against Kasugai

Pic of the Week, from Morishin's FC against Kasugai

Sun 11 Jun: FC Kawasaki 0-3 Mind House TC
Sun 11 Jun: Fuyo Club 1-3 Honda Suzuka
Sun 11 Jun: Morishin's FC 1-1 Kasugai Club

1 Honda Suzuka 16 (+6)
2 Kasugai Club 13 (+8)
3 Konica Minolta Toyokawa 10 (+3)
4 Nagoya Club 9 (+3)
5 Mind House TC 7 (+2)
6 Morishin's FC 4 (-3)
7 Fuyo Club 4 (-9)
8 FC Kawasaki 0 (-10)
Tokai League Division 1 - Round 6
The race for the title in Division 1 of the Tokai League shows no sign of slowing down after the round 6 fixtures on Sunday, as leaders and reigning champions Shizuoka FC came away from their match at Yazaki Valente with a 2-0 win. But the gap between Shizuoka and FC Gifu is down to Shizuoka's marginally better goal difference, following Gifu's 4-0 triumph over last place ACM Central. The other six teams trai in the wake of the leading pair, Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo's 2-1 win over Maruyasu Industry placing them third, some seven points off the pace.

11 Jun 06 - Atsushi Katagiri, twice on target for Gifu against Sagawa Chukyo

Atsushi Katagiri, twice on target for Gifu against Sagawa Chukyo

Sun 11 Jun: Yazaki Valente 0-2 Shizuoka FC
Sun 11 Jun: Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo 2-1 Maruyasu Industry
Sun 11 Jun: FC Gifu 4-0 ACM Central

1 Shizuoka FC 16 (+16)
2 FC Gifu 16 (+14)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo 9 (-)
4 Yazaki Valente 9 (-1)
5 Maruyasu Industry 7 (-2)
6 Chukyo University 5 (-2)
7 Fujieda City Hall 3 (-12)
8 ACM Central 1 (-13)
Tohoku League Division 2 (North) - Rounds 5 & 6
FC Akita Cambiare continue their march at the top of the Tohoku League Division 2 (North), with a 5-0 win over shock strugglers Aster Aomori - which continues their 100% record from the start of the season. Their nearest challengers, having played twice over the last couple of weeks, are Mizusawa United Club, although Tono Club have games in hand and look set to provide some sort of threat to Cambiare's dominance. Newly promoted side Fuji Club 2003 achieved their first point in Regional League football at the third attempt, when they picked up a draw at fellow newcomers Vanrarure Hachinohe.

Sun 04 Jun: FC Akita Cambiare 5-0 Aster Aomori
Sun 04 Jun: Vanrarure Hachinohe 1-1 Fuji Club 2003
Sun 04 Jun: Tono Club 3-2 Mizusawa United Club

Sun 11 Jun: TDK Shinwakai 1-3 Mizusawa United Club

1 FC Akita Cambiare 15 (+12)
2 Mizusawa United Club 9 (+4)
3 Tono Club 7 (+2)
4 Vanrarure Hachinohe 7 (-)
5 TDK Shinwakai 4 (-5)
6 Fuji Club 2003 1 (-2)
7 Hokuto Bank SC 0 (-2)
8 Aster Aomori 0 (-9)
Kyushu League - Round 10
There was a single Kyushu League fixture staged on Saturday, with Okinawa Kariyushi managing a narrow 1-0 win over Kaiho Bank SC - their fourth consecutive victory - to pull level in third spot with Nippon Steel Oita. The result leaves Kaiho Bank second from bottom and in danger of relegation back to the Okinawa Prefectural League.

Sat 10 Jun: Okinawa Kariyushi 1-0 Kaiho Bank SC

10 Jun 06 - Ayuta Kamezaki, scorer of Okinawa Kariyushi's late winner v Kaiho Bank SC

Ayuta Kamezaki, scorer of Okinawa Kariyushi's late winner v Kaiho Bank SC
Hokushinetsu League Division 2 - Round 9
The topsy turvy nature of the Hoksuhinetsu League Division 2 continued to manifest itself in round 9 on Sunday, as new leaders Maruoka Phoenix succumbed to a 1-0 defeat by relegation-threatened Toyama Shinjo Club to be knocked off top spot. Taking over from them are the inconsistent but dangerous Valiente Toyama, 3-0 winners at LionPower Komatsu, but TOP Niigata are also in with a shout despite only drawing 1-1 at bottom placed Nissei Resin. FC Kanazu managed a first win in six to overhaul FC Antelope and move into the top half of the table.

11 Jun 06 - Maruoka Phoenix host Toyama Shinjo Club

Maruoka Phoenix host Toyama Shinjo Club

Sun 11 Jun: FC Kanazu 2-1 FC Antelope
Sun 11 Jun: LionPower Komatsu 0-3 Valiente Toyama
Sun 11 Jun: Maruoka Phoenix 0-1 Toyama Shinjo Club
Sun 11 Jun: Nissei Resin 1-1 TOP Niigata

1 Valiente Toyama 17 (+8)
2 Maruoka Phoenix 16 (+3)
3 TOP Niigata 15 (+6)
4 FC Kanazu 12 (+4)
5 FC Antelope 12 (-2)
6 Toyama Shinjo Club 10 (-9)
7 LionPower Komatsu 9 (-7)
8 Nissei Resin 6 (-3)
Kanto League Division 2 - Round 8
A potentially vital win for Aries FC in the Kanto League Division 2 relegation battle at All Kamisu SC. Tokyo-based Aries, who were demoted from Division 1 only at the end of 2005, are still four points from safety, but this was their first win and only second clean sheet of the campaign. Ome FC, too, did themselves the world of good as they ran in four goals against Kanagawa Teachers to move away from the drop zone - not bad when they'd previously only scored six all season. At the top of the table, meanwhile, Furukawa Electrics Chiba crushed Nirasaki Astros 5-0 to close the gap on clear leaders FC Machida Zelvia, who could only draw at home to Hitachi Tochigi Uva.

11 Jun 06 - Teppei Tsurako makes a safe catch for Machida against Hitachi

Teppei Tsurako makes a safe catch for Machida against Hitachi

Sun 11 Jun: All Kamisu SC 0-1 Aries FC
Sun 11 Jun: FC Machida Zelvia 1-1 Hitachi Tochigi Uva
Sun 11 Jun: Furukawa Electrics Chiba 5-0 Nirasaki Astros
Sun 11 Jun: Ome FC 4-1 Kanagawa Teachers

1 FC Machida Zelvia 19 (+21)
2 Furukawa Electrics Chiba 16 (+8)
3 Hitachi Tochigi Uva 12 (+1)
4 Nirasaki Astros 12 (-4)
5 Ome FC 9 (-3)
6 Kanagawa Teachers 8 (-4)
7 All Kamisu SC 6 (-10)
8 Aries FC 4 (-9)
Kanto League Division 1 - Round 8
It was a day of draws in the Kanto League Division 1 on Sunday, YSCC being the exception as they moved second with a 6-1 thrashing of Toho Titanium. This means Toho drop into the relegation zone, as MSDF Atsugi Marcus managed an excellent 1-1 draw at leaders Yaita SC. Hanno Bruder are still in touch at the bottom following their goalless match with Saitama SC, while reigning champions Luminozo Sayama's stuttering season continues - they remain fourth after a 2-2 draw against Toshiba Fuchu.

11 Jun 06 - Hanno Bruder and Saitama SC just can't wait to get started

Hanno Bruder and Saitama SC just can't wait to get started

Sun 11 Jun: Hanno Bruder 0-0 Saitama SC
Sun 11 Jun: Toshiba Fuchu 2-2 Luminozo Sayama
Sun 11 Jun: Yaita SC 1-1 MSDF Atsugi Marcus
Sun 11 Jun: YSCC 6-1 Toho Titanium

1 Yaita SC 20 (+10)
2 YSCC 14 (+8)
3 Toshiba Fuchu 13 (+3)
4 Luminozo Sayama 12 (+2)
5 Saitama SC 9 (+1)
6 MSDF Atsugi Marcus 7 (-8)
7 Toho Titanium 7 (-11)
8 MSDF Atsugi Marcus 6 (-5)

11 Jun 06 - Toshiba Fuchu earn their stripes against Luminozo

Toshiba Fuchu earn their stripes against Luminozo
Kansai League Division 2 - Round 9
The two promotion slots in Division 2 of the Kansai League are looking ever more likely to be filled by Technonet Osaka and FC Kyoto BAMB 1993 after further wins for both on Saturday, against Riseisha FC and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe respectively. With a 4-2 win over odds-on relegation candidates Kobe FC Senior C, Hermano Osaka move third, but Kihoku Football Group gained a vital three points in their battle to avoid the drop, beating rivals Kohga School 2-1.

10 Jun 06 - FC Kyoto BAMB in red against Mitsubishi Kobe

FC Kyoto BAMB in red against Mitsubishi Kobe

Sat 10 Jun: FC Kyoto BAMB 1993 4-1 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe
Sat 10 Jun: Hermano Osaka 4-2 Kobe FC Senior C
Sat 10 Jun: Kohga School 1-2 Kihoku Football Group
Sat 10 Jun: Technonet Osaka 1-0 Riseisha FC

1 Technonet Osaka 24 (+9)
2 FC Kyoto BAMB 1993 23 (+21)
3 Hermano Osaka 16 (+5)
4 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 16 (+5)
5 Riseisha FC 11 (+1)
6 Kihoku Football Group 8 (-14)
7 Kohga School 7 (-7)
8 Kobe FC Senior C 1 (-14)
Kansai League Division 1 - Round 9
Three games without a win now for Kansai League Division 1 leaders Banditonce Kobe following their 0-0 draw with FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu - but none of Banditonce's nearest rivals were able to do much to close the gap at the top, as Sanyo Electric Sumoto could only draw with improving Kyoto Shiko Club and Kobe FC 1970 fell to a shock 4-1 defeat at home to Takada FC. At the bottom of the table, 2004 title winners AS Laranja Kyoto are now dead last, having lost 2-1 to Ain Food.

11 Jun 06 - FC Mi-o keeper Go Tanaka, a busy man against Banditonce Kobe

FC Mi-o keeper Go Tanaka, a busy man against Banditonce Kobe

Sat 10 Jun: Ain Food 2-1 AS Laranja Kyoto
Sat 10 Jun: Sanyo Electric Sumoto 2-2 Kyoto Shiko Club

Sun 11 Jun: Banditonce Kobe 0-0 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu
Sun 11 Jun: Kobe FC 1970 1-4 Takada FC

1 Banditonce Kobe 20 (+13)
2 Sanyo Electric Sumoto 16 (+5)
3 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 16 (+2)
4 Kobe FC 1970 13 (-2)
5 Ain Food 12 (-2)
6 Kyoto Shiko Club 10 (-2)
7 Takada FC 10 (-7)
8 AS Laranja Kyoto 7 (-7)

11 Jun 06 - Shock winners over Kobe FC 1970, it's Takada FC

Shock winners over Kobe FC 1970, it's Takada FC
Hokushinetsu League Division 1 - Round 9
It may be beyond Zweigen Kanazawa to win Division 1 of the Hokushinetsu League this year, but that doesn't mean to say that they will have no influence over who does eventually take the championship of one of the tightest of Japan's Regional Leagues. For a sensational 3-0 win at Matsumoto Yamaga Club has knoced the previously-undefeated Yamaga off the top of the table and into third place, as 2005 winners Nagano Elsa take over in first place thanks to an easy victory against Ueda Gentian. Following close behind them are Japan Soccer College, 4-1 victors over Niigata University of Management. Fervorosa meanwhile continue to plough a lone furrow as the solitary mid-table side, 6-1 winners at relegation favourites Teihens FC.

11 Jun 06 - Scorer of the first Zweigen goal against Matsumoto, Tatsuro Kimura

Scorer of the first Zweigen goal against Matsumoto, Tatsuro Kimura

Sun 11 Jun: Matsumoto Yamaga Club 0-3 Zweigen Kanazawa
Sun 11 Jun: Niigata University of Management 1-4 Japan Soccer College
Sun 11 Jun: Teihens FC 1-6 Fervorosa
Sun 11 Jun: Ueda Gentian 0-4 Nagano Elsa

1 Nagano Elsa 24 (+32)
2 Japan Soccer College 22 (+24)
3 Matsumoto Yamaga Club 22 (+19)
4 Zweigen Kanazawa 16 (+21)
5 Fervorosa 11 (+3)
6 Niigata University of Management 4 (-31)
7 Ueda Gentian 2 (-29)
8 Teihens FC 2 (-39)

11 Jun 06 - Ueda Gentian host title challengers Nagano Elsa

Ueda Gentian host title challengers Nagano Elsa
JFL - Round 14 (Sunday)
The big match in round 14 of the JFL on Sunday saw Rosso Kumamoto travel to Tochigi SC and come away with a superb 3-1 win, Tochigi's first home defeat of 2006 and a result that compresses things further at the top of the division. It seems likely now that the title winners will be one of five teams, although undefeated leaders YKK AP picked up their third draw in four games at Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo. With Tochigi losing, second place now belongs to Honda FC, 1-0 winners over Alo's Hokuriku thanks to Kodai Suzuki's eleventh goal of the season shortly after half time. Level on points with Rosso and perhaps the outsiders in the race for the title are Sagawa Kyubin Osaka, who now have seven wins in eight games despite conceding a shock early goal to lowly Honda Lock.

SC Tottori have made the most of their recent run of fixtures against some of the weaker teams in the league and have now won three on the trot, notching up fourteen goals in the process, Ryutsu Keizai University being their latest victims. Fellow J-League hopefuls Arte Takasaki gained a valuable 3-1 win over FC Ryukyu to steady their ship as they slip down the league table and FC Kariya moved closer to safety with a good 2-0 win at Sagawa Printing.

11 Jun 06 - Ballet in the rain between Sagawa Tokyo and YKK AP

Ballet in the rain between Sagawa Tokyo and YKK AP

Sun 11 Jun: Arte Takasaki 3-1 FC Ryukyu
Sun 11 Jun: Honda FC 1-0 Alo's Hokuriku
Sun 11 Jun: Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 2-1 Honda Lock
Sun 11 Jun: Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 0-0 YKK AP
Sun 11 Jun: Sagawa Printing 0-2 FC Kariya
Sun 11 Jun: SC Tottori 4-1 Ryutsu Keizai University
Sun 11 Jun: Tochigi SC 1-3 Rosso Kumamoto

1 YKK AP 34 (+26)
2 Honda FC 31 (+12)
3 Tochigi SC 30 (+11)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 29 (+14)
5 Rosso Kumamoto 29 (+13)
6 Alo's Hokuriku 25 (+14)
7 Yokogawa Musashino 24 (+5)
8 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 21 (+14)
9 SC Tottori 20 (+8)
10 Sony Sendai 17 (-4)
11 Arte Takasaki 17 (-7)
12 JEF Club 15 (-3)
13 FC Kariya 14 (-13)
14 FC Ryukyu 10 (-6)
15 Sagawa Printing 9 (-16)
16 Mitsubishi Mizushima 9 (-22)
17 Ryutsu Keizai University 8 (-19)
18 Honda Lock 8 (-27)

11 Jun 06 - Happy happy happy, Tottori celebrate on their way to beating RKU

Happy happy happy, Tottori celebrate on their way to beating RKU
Chugoku League
Another sensational result involving Hiroshima Fujita SC in round 7 of the Chugoku League on Sunday as they conceded seven for the second consecutive week - and have now lost four on the trot, leaving their season in tatters. It was Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku who handed out the spanking on this occasion, the boosting their goal difference potentially being vital as the title race hots up. The other two championship candidates both won more narrowly, FC Central Chugoku overcoming JFE Steel 2-0 while current leaders Fagiano Okayama squeezed past bottom side Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 2-1. In the other match, Renofa Yamaguchi continued their promising season with a 3-1 victory over relegation candidates Iwami SC.

11 Jun 06 - Hitachi in yellow clash with Fagiano

Hitachi in yellow clash with Fagiano

Sun 11 Jun: FC Central Chugoku 2-0 JFE Steel
Sun 11 Jun: Hiroshima Fujita SC 1-7 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
Sun 11 Jun: Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 1-2 Fagiano Okayama
Sun 11 Jun: Renofa Yamaguchi 3-1 Iwami SC

1 Fagiano Okayama 18 (+22)
2 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 16 (+19)
3 FC Central Chugoku 13 (+12)
4 Renofa Yamaguchi 11 (-6)
5 JFE Steel 6 (-5)
6 Hiroshima Fujita SC 6 (-12)
7 Iwami SC 3 (-16)
8 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 2 (-14)

11 Jun 06 - A somewhat distant view of Renofa against Iwami

A somewhat distant view of Renofa against Iwami
JFL - Round 14 (Saturday)
Two JFL fixtures on Saturday, their outcome affecting more the middle and lower reaches of the league table. The unpredictable JEF Club managed an impressive 4-2 win at Sony Sendai and so leapfrog Arte Takasaki into eleventh position, while Yokogawa Musashino remain seventh despite their 1-0 defeat of lowly Mitsubishi Mizushima.

10 Jun 06 - Shinya Ishihara, on target for Sony Sendai v JEF Club

Shinya Ishihara, on target for Sony Sendai v JEF Club

Sat 10 Jun: Sony Sendai 2-4 JEF Club
Sat 10 Jun: Yokogawa Musashino 1-0 Mitsubishi Mizushima

10 Jun 06 - On the attack for Yokogawa against Mitsubishi, Koji Murayama

On the attack for Yokogawa against Mitsubishi, Koji Murayama
Tokai League Division 2 - Rounds 4 & 5
Two rounds of fixtures to report on in Division 2 of the Tokai League, where four teams are competing for the two promotion places. Honda Suzuka's 100% record finally went in round 5 with a draw at home to Konica Minolta Toyokawa. They are followed most closely by Kasugai Club, whose home record continues to stand them in good stead having just avoided relegation in 2005. Nagoya Club, themselves relegated from Division 1 at the end of last season, are well-positioned in fourth with a game in hand following a 7-3 hammering of Fuyo Club, while the two clubs newly-promoted from the Prefectural Leagues - Morishin's FC and FC Kawasaki - now comprise the bottom two and are looking in danger of dropping straight back down again.

04 Jun 06 - Morishin's grab an injury time consolation against Mind House

Morishin's grab an injury time consolation against Mind House

Sun 28 May: FC Kawasaki 0-1 Fuyo Club
Sun 28 May: Kasugai Club 2-1 Konica Minolta Toyokawa
Sun 28 May: Mind House TC 0-1 Honda Suzuka

Sun 04 Jun: Honda Suzuka 1-1 Konica Minolta Toyokawa
Sun 04 Jun: Kasugai Club 4-1 FC Kawasaki
Sun 04 Jun: Morishin's FC 2-4 Mind House TC
Sun 04 Jun: Nagoya Club 7-3 Fuyo Club

1 Honda Suzuka 13 (+4)
2 Kasugai Club 12 (+8)
3 Konica Minolta Toyokawa 10 (+3)
4 Nagoya Club 9 (+3)
5 Mind House TC 4 (-1)
6 Fuyo Club 4 (-7)
7 Morishin's FC 3 (-3)
8 FC Kawasaki 0 (-7)
Shikoku League - Round 7
A potentially momentous result at the top of the SHikoku League on Sunday, as previously unbeaten leaders Kamatamare Sanuki let slip an early advantage to lose 2-1 at home to their closest challengers, Ehime Shimanami. This closes the gap between the two to just two points, given that Nangoku Kochi's match with Sanyo Electric Tokushima was postponed. Elsewhere, Alex SC are to their credit now unbeaten in four matches after a draw with local rivals Tokushima Vortis Amateur, but Ventana AC have given themselves more of a chance of avoiding relegation thanks to a 4-0 win over bottom side Sanwa Club.

04 Jun 06 - Ehime Shimanami put the Kamatamare Sanuki defence under pressure

Ehime Shimanami put the Kamatamare Sanuki defence under pressure

Sun 04 Jun: Kamatamare Sanuki 1-2 Ehime Shimanami
Sun 04 Jun: Tokushima Vortis Amateur 2-2 Alex SC
Sun 04 Jun: Ventana AC 4-0 Sanwa Club

1 Kamatamare Sanuki 18 (+15)
2 Ehime Shimanami 16 (+11)
3 Nangoku Kochi 13 (+11)
4 Sanyo Electric Tokushima 10 (-)
5 Alex SC 8 (-2)
6 Tokushima Vortis Amateur 6 (-6)
7 Ventana AC 4 (-16)
8 Sanwa Club 1 (-13)

04 Jun 06 - The relegation battle between Ventana (blue) and Sanwa

The relegation battle between Ventana (blue) and Sanwa
Hokkaido League - Round 5
A vital win in the top-of-the-table clash of the Hokkaido League on Sunday gave champions Norbritz Hokkaido a four-point lead over their nearest rivals Blackpecker Hakodate and Sapporo Football Group. Norbritz came away from Blackpecker with a 2-0 victory and must now be hot favourites to retain their title, as no other team seems capable this year of mounting a strong enough individual challenge to their superiority. Thanks FC's inconsistency was underlined as they went down to an ACSC Asahikawa side picking up their first win of the season, while Tokachi Fairsky seem to be finding it tough to cope with the demands of football at this level following promotion from the local Block Leagues.

04 Jun 06 - Another great Hokkaido League photo, as Thank FC take on ACSC

Another great Hokkaido League photo, as Thank FC take on ACSC

Sun 04 Jun: Barefoot Hokkaido 1-2 Sapporo Football Group
Sun 04 Jun: Blackpecker Hakodate 0-2 Norbritz Hokkaido
Sun 04 Jun: Tokachi Fairsky 2-3 Toyota Motors Hokkaido
Sun 04 Jun: Thank FC 1-3 ACSC Asahikawa

1 Norbritz Hokkaido 13 (+15)
2 Sapporo Football Group 9 (+4)
3 Blackpecker Hakodate 9 (+1)
4 Toyota Motors Hokkaido 8 (-)
5 Thank FC 7 (+3)
6 Barefoot Hokkaido 5 (-1)
7 ACSC Asahikawa 3 (-10)
8 Tokachi Fairsky 3 (-12)
Tokai League Division 1 - Round 5
Shizuoka FC and FC Gifu continued their march ahead at the top of Division 1 of the Tokai League on Sunday, as Shizuoka strolled to a 4-0 win over Fujieda City Hall while Gifu were beating Maruyasu Industry. The stage is set for a showdown between the two on 24 June in Gifu, which will surely decide the destination of the title for 2006. Elsewhere, Yazaki Valente moved third after a 2-1 win at Chukyo University, but ACM Central remain rooted to the foot of the division as a result of their 1-0 home defeat by Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku.

04 Jun 06 - Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo in grey get the better of ACM Central

Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo in grey get the better of ACM Central

Sun 04 Jun: Shizuoka FC 4-0 Fujieda City Hall
Sun 04 Jun: Chukyo University 1-2 Yazaki Valente
Sun 04 Jun: FC Gifu 3-0 Maruyasu Industry
Sun 04 Jun: ACM Central 0-1 Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo

1 Shizuoka FC 13 (+14)
2 FC Gifu 13 (+10)
3 Yazaki Valente 9 (+1)
4 Maruyasu Industry 7 (-1)
5 Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo 6 (-1)
6 Chukyo University 5 (-2)
7 Fujieda City Hall 3 (-12)
8 ACM Central 1 (-9)

04 Jun 06 - Maruyasu Industry battle FC Gifu before a crowd of 7360

Maruyasu Industry battle FC Gifu before a crowd of 7360
Tohoku League Division 2(S) - Round 6
Just one game in the Tohoku League Division 2 (South) over the weekend - but it was a big one, with second place Furukawa Battery inflicting a first defeat of the year on leaders Marisol Matsushima. This closes the gap between the two to six points, although Furukawa do have two matches in hand.

04 Jun 06 - Marisol Matsushima in red struggle to keep up with Furukawa Battery

Marisol Matsushima in red struggle to keep up with Furukawa Battery

Sun 04 Jun: Furukawa Battery 4-2 Marisol Matsushima
Tohoku League Division 1 - Rounds 5 & 6
Leading pair TDK Akita and Grulla Morioka continue to dominate in Division 1 of the Tohoku League, following on from the memorable climax to the 2005 season when the two shared the title having an absolutely identical league record. But it's TDK with the markedly superior goal difference this time, which they increased thanks to a 7-0 thrashing of FC Primeiro in round 6 on Sunday, while Grulla could only put three past Wiese Shiogama. Primeiro are nevertheless the two frontrunners' nearest challengers, having picked up a 1-0 win at NEC Tokin the previous weekend. At the bottom of the table, newly-promoted Sendai Nakata Club still have yet to pick up a point after defeats by NEC and an improving Morioka Zebra .

04 Jun 06 - Calm yourselves. It's the warm-up before NEC Tokin clash with Sendai Nakata Club

Calm yourselves. It's the warm-up before NEC Tokin clash with Sendai Nakata Club

Sun 28 May: Grulla Morioka 1-0 Nippon Steel Kamaishi
Sun 28 May: Morioka Zebra 5-3 Sendai Nakata Club
Sun 28 May: NEC Tokin 0-1 FC Primeiro
Sun 28 May: TDK Akita 1-0 Wiese Shiogama

Sun 04 Jun: Nippon Steel Kamaishi 3-3 Morioka Zebra
Sun 04 Jun: TDK Akita 7-0 FC Primeiro
Sun 04 Jun: Wiese Shiogama 0-3 Grulla Morioka
Sun 04 Jun: Sendai Nakata Club 0-2 NEC Tokin

1 TDK Akita 15 (+22)
2 Grulla Morioka 15 (+10)
3 FC Primeiro 10 (-6)
4 NEC Tokin 7 (+1)
5 Wiese Shiogama 5 (+1)
6 Morioka Zebra 4 (-7)
7 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 1 (-14)
8 Sendai Nakata Club 0 (-7)
Kansai League Division 2 - Round 8
Technonet Osaka retained their lead in Division 2 of the Kansai League after the round 8 fixtures over the weekend, beating Kihoku Football Group 3-1 in order to hold off the challenge of second-placed FC Kyoto BAMB 1993. After two consecutive draws, BAMB meanwhile went back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-0 triumph over a Kobe FC Senior C side already looking like relegation certainties, but the middle of the division is a lot closer, especially now that new boys Riseisha FC have climbed their way up to within two points of third place via their defeat of Hermano Osaka, not to mention Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe's failure to beat Kohga School.

03 Jun 06 - Kohga School, fresh as daisies after their match at Mitsubishi Kobe

Kohga School, fresh as daisies after their match at Mitsubishi Kobe

Sat 03 Jun: Kobe FC Senior C 0-4 FC Kyoto BAMB 1993
Sat 03 Jun: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 0-0 Kohga School

Sun 04 Jun: Kihoku Football Group 1-3 Technonet Osaka
Sun 04 Jun: Riseisha FC 3-0 Hermano Osaka

1 Technonet Osaka 21 (+8)
2 FC Kyoto BAMB 1993 20 (+18)
3 Hermano Osaka 13 (+3)
4 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 13 (+2)
5 Riseisha FC 11 (+2)
6 Kohga School 7 (-6)
7 Kihoku Football Group 5 (-15)
8 Kobe FC Senior C 1 (-12)
Kansai League Division 1 - Round 8
After a draw in round 7 against Kobe FC 1970, Kansai League Division 1 leaders Banditonce Kobe succumbed to their first defeat of the year in Sunday's round 8 match with relegation-threatened Kyoto Shiko Club. They nevertheless remain four points in front thanks to second-placed Kobe FC's defeat at FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu, which resulted in FC Mi-o jumping up to third and Kobe falling to fourth - in second now are Sanyo Electric Sumoto, 2-1 victors on Saturday against AS Laranja Kyoto. Takada FC remained in touch at the bottom, meanwhile, thanks to a crucial 1-0 win over surprise strugglers Ain Food.

03 Jun 06 - Banditonce Kobe’s shock defeat to Kyoto Shiko

Banditonce Kobe’s shock defeat to Kyoto Shiko

Sat 03 Jun: AS Laranja Kyoto 1-2 Sanyo Electric Sumoto
Sat 03 Jun: Kyoto Shiko Club 1-0 Banditonce Kobe

Sun 04 Jun: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 1-0 Kobe FC 1970
Sun 04 Jun: Takada FC 1-0 Ain Food

1 Banditonce Kobe 19 (+13)
2 Sanyo Electric Sumoto 15 (+5)
3 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 15 (+2)
4 Kobe FC 1970 13 (+1)
5 Kyoto Shiko Club 9 (-2)
6 Ain Food 9 (-3)
7 AS Laranja Kyoto 7 (-6)
8 Takada FC 7 (-10)
Hokushinetsu League Division 2 - Round 8
No doubting the match of the round in the Hokushinetsu League Division 2 on Sunday, as newly-promoted Maruoka Phoenix made it to the top of the table thanks to a 2-1 win away at previous leaders Valiente Toyama. Indeed, Valiente fell to third as a result of the defeat, TOP Niigata's 4-1 trouncing of LionPower Komatsu moving them up into a second spot that has been achieved almost entirely on the basis of a perfect home record. At the bottom of the table, meanwhile, Nissei Resin picked up their fifth draw of the year at FC Antelope and Toyama Shinjo Club also improved their chances of avoiding the drop thanks a 2-1 victory over FC Kanazu.

04 Jun 06 - Maruoka Phoenix wrestle with Valiente Toyama

Maruoka Phoenix wrestle with Valiente Toyama

Sun 04 Jun: FC Antelope 2-2 Nissei Resin
Sun 04 Jun: TOP Niigata 4-1 LionPower Komatsu
Sun 04 Jun: Toyama Shinjo Club 2-1 FC Kanazu
Sun 04 Jun: Valiente Toyama 1-2 Maruoka Phoenix

1 Maruoka Phoenix 16 (+4)
2 TOP Niigata 14 (+6)
3 Valiente Toyama 14 (+5)
4 FC Antelope 12 (-1)
5 FC Kanazu 9 (-3)
6 LionPower Komatsu 9 (-4)
7 Toyama Shinjo Club 7 (-10)
8 Nissei Resin 5 (-3)
Hokushinetsu League Division 1 - Round 8
It's still tight at the top of the Hokushinetsu League Division 1, as the three frontrunners all managed wins in round 8 on Sunday. Still top of the table, therefore, are Matsumoto Yamaga Club, who despatched Fervorosa to the tune of 4-1. Hot on their heels are title holders Nagano Elsa, 7-0 winners for the third time this season, on this occasion against relegation favourites Teihens FC , while Japan Soccer College remain third following their defeat of Ueda Gentian. In the middle of it all, however, are Zweigen Kanazawa, whose intended season of domination has not worked out as they'd intended, but they are clearly streets ahead of the bottom of the division as well, as evidenced by their own third seven-goal performance of the campaign against Niigata University of Management.

04 Jun 06 - Matsumoto Yamaga in white get the better of Fervorosa

Matsumoto Yamaga in white get the better of Fervorosa

Sun 04 Jun: Fervorosa 1-4 Matsumoto Yamaga Club
Sun 04 Jun: Japan Soccer College 1-0 Ueda Gentian
Sun 04 Jun: Nagano Elsa 7-0 Teihens FC
Sun 04 Jun: Zweigen Kanazawa 7-1 Niigata University of Management

1 Matsumoto Yamaga Club 22 (+22)
2 Nagano Elsa 21 (+28)
3 Japan Soccer College 19 (+21)
4 Zweigen Kanazawa 13 (+18)
5 Fervorosa 8 (-2)
6 Niigata University of Management 4 (-28)
7 Ueda Gentian 2 (-25)
8 Teihens FC 2 (-34)

04 Jun 06 - Midfielder Yoshikatsu Yamazaki in possession for Zweigen against NUM

Midfielder Yoshikatsu Yamazaki in possession for Zweigen against NUM
JFL - Round 13 (Sunday)
More significant action to report at both the bottom and the top of the JFL in Sunday's round 13 clashes. Leaders YKK AP stuttered for the second home match in succession, managing only a 1-1 draw against mid-table Sony Sendai, with Yu Hoshide on target for the fifth time this season. Second now are Tochigi SC, who picked up a vital 3-2 win at home to fellow challengers Honda FC that included two goals for Satoshi Takahide. And with Honda in third, Sagawa Kyubin Osaka are now the surprise fourth-place side, thanks to a remarkable second half display that saw them put six past Mitsubishi Mizushima to notch up their third win in a row.

Down near the bottom with Mitsubishi, Sagawa Printing won three crucial points by beating Honda Lock with a late Daisuke Nakamori goal to jump out of the relegation play-off zone. Ryutsu Keizai University are still in grave danger but managed a very impressive goalless draw at title hopefuls Rosso Kumamoto - but in truth, the whole of the bottom third of the division are under threat. This includes FC Ryukyu - who on balance will be disappointed at only having managed a draw with Yokogawa Musashino - and JEF Club, despite the latter's 2-1 win over Arte Takasaki.

04 Jun 06 - Kerboom! Star man Kentaro Yoshida gets in a shot for Tochigi against Honda

Kerboom! Star man Kentaro Yoshida gets in a shot for Tochigi against Honda

Sun 04 Jun: FC Ryukyu 0-0 Yokogawa Musashino
Sun 04 Jun: Honda Lock 2-3 Sagawa Printing
Sun 04 Jun: JEF Club 2-1 Arte Takasaki
Sun 04 Jun: Mitsubishi Mizushima 0-6 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka
Sun 04 Jun: Rosso Kumamoto 0-0 Ryutsu Keizai University
Sun 04 Jun: Tochigi SC 3-2 Honda FC
Sun 04 Jun: YKK AP 1-1 Sony Sendai

1 YKK AP 33 (+26)
2 Tochigi SC 30 (+13)
3 Honda FC 28 (+11)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 26 (+13)
5 Rosso Kumamoto 26 (+11)
6 Alo's Hokuriku 25 (+15)
7 Yokogawa Musashino 21 (+4)
8 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 20 (+14)
9 SC Tottori 17 (+5)
10 Sony Sendai 17 (-2)
11 Arte Takasaki 14 (-9)
12 JEF Club 12 (-5)
13 FC Kariya 11 (-15)
14 FC Ryukyu 10 (-4)
15 Sagawa Printing 9 (-14)
16 Mitsubishi Mizushima 9 (-21)
17 Ryutsu Keizai University 8 (-16)
18 Honda Lock 8 (-26)

04 Jun 06 - On the way to defeat and the bottom of the JFL, Honda Lock attack Sagawa Printing

On the way to defeat, but Honda Lock attack Sagawa Printing
Kyushu League - Round 9
The Kyushu League season reached its midway point on Sunday, with a further four fixtures in Kitakyushu to finish off the weekend double header - and there wasn't much doubt as to what the match of the day was, as leaders V Varen Nagasaki scored a vital 2-1 win over challengers Nippon Steel Oita to open up a four-point gap over their rivals. New Wave Kitakyushu have moved into second place after their surprisingly narrow win over Osumi NIFS United and it seems likely that these two teams will battle it out for the title this year. Early leaders Volca Kagoshima meanwhile picked up their first win since round 4 at the expense of Nanakuma Tombies, but relegation-threatened Kaiho Bank SC undid much of the good achieved by their rare triumph on Saturday when they lost to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki to slip back into the drop zone.

03 Jun 06 - Acrobatics from New Wave's Daisuke Miyakawa against Osumi NIFS

Acrobatics from New Wave's Daisuke Miyakawa against Osumi NIFS

Sun 04 Jun: Kaiho Bank SC 1-2 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki
Sun 04 Jun: New Wave Kitakyushu 1-0 Osumi NIFS United
Sun 04 Jun: V Varen Nagasaki 2-1 Nippon Steel Oita
Sun 04 Jun: Volca Kagoshima 2-0 Nanakuma Tombies

1 V Varen Nagasaki 22 (+16)
2 New Wave Kitakyushu 20 (+13)
3 Nippon Steel Oita 18 (+13)
4 Okinawa Kariyushi 15 (+8)
5 Volca Kagoshima 15 (+7)
6 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 6 (-7)
7 Osumi NIFS United 6 (-12)
8 Kaiho Bank SC 4 (-12)
9 Nanakuma Tombies 2 (-26)
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