Japanese Non-league Football News

Tokai League Division 1
A week ago, Shizuoka FC could manage only a 2-2 draw against Maruyasu Industry, which constituted a massive blow to their hopes of retaining the Tokai League Division 1 title. As of this weekend, Shizuoka's new rivals from FC Gifu have a hand on the championship trophy, after Maruyasu were seen off 3-0 to leave Gifu a massive eleven points ahead, with Shizuoka having only four more games to play.

05 Aug 06 - Yasuhiro Yoshida, scorer of the opening goal for Gifu at Maruyasu

Yasuhiro Yoshida, scorer of the opening goal for Gifu at Maruyasu

Sat 05 Aug: Maruyasu Industry 0-3 FC Gifu

1 FC Gifu 34 (+37)
2 Shizuoka FC 23 (+23)
3 Yazaki Valente 21 (+3)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo 15 (-6)
5 Maruyama Industry 14 (-6)
6 Fujieda City Hall 9 (-10)
7 Chukyo University 8 (-12)
8 ACM Central 1 (-29)
JFL - Round 22 (Saturday)
It was an unusually busy Saturday in the JFL this weekend, and one that indicated quite how intense the battle to avoid the bottom two places - which will probably involve a play-off against one of the top sides from the Regional Leagues in order to stay up - is becoming. Honda Lock would appear dead and buried in last place, but Mitsubishi Mizushima and Ryutsu Keizai University have both run into some form and are picking up points as a consequence. Mitsubishi were three up inside nineteen minutes at FC Kariya and held on despite conceding two Tomohiro Ito goals in the second half, while a brace from Yuta Mikado helped RKU past FC Ryukyu - disastrous results for Kariya and the Okinawans from Ryukyu, who have now been well and truly pulled into the dogfight.

Indeed, clubs as high up in the table as SC Tottori in tenth will now be sleeping much less easily, as the lower part of the table has suddenly become compacted to an extent that was not the case even a matter of a couple of weeks ago. All of which makes Tottori's home defeat to JEF Club - for whom form striker Shogo Kawano scored a hat-trick inside 21 minutes - yet more significant, and one wonders too how important Sagawa Printing's point against YKK AP might prove to be at the end of the season.

At the other end of the division, Yokogawa Musashino and Tochigi SC fought out a 1-1 draw that really does neither of them any good in terms of dragging them back into the title race. Mikito Nishihara's 49th minute goal for Sagawa Kyubin Osaka, on the other hand, gave his side a 1-0 win over Alo's Hokuriku, which means that they leapfrog both their company rivals Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo and YKK into third place, in what is proving an excellent season for both the Sagawa teams.

05 Aug 06 - Through the smog at Yokogawa against Tochigi

Through the smog at Yokogawa against Tochigi

Sat 05 Aug: FC Kariya 2-3 Mitsubishi Mizushima
Sat 05 Aug: Ryutsu Keizai University 4-2 FC Ryukyu
Sat 05 Aug: Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 1-0 Alo's Hokuriku
Sat 05 Aug: Sagawa Printing 1-1 YKK AP
Sat 05 Aug: SC Tottori 3-4 JEF Club
Sat 05 Aug: Yokogawa Musashino 1-1 Tochigi SC

1 Honda FC 50 (+23)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 46 (+21)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 45 (+21)
4 YKK AP 43 (+24)
5 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 42 (+31)
6 Yokogawa Musashino 40 (+11)
7 Tochigi SC 39 (+10)
8 Alo's Hokuriku 37 (+16)
9 Sony Sendai 32 (+6)
10 SC Tottori 23 (+1)
11 JEF Club 22 (-8)
12 Arte Takasaki 22 (-16)
13 Sagawa Printing 20 (-20)
14 FC Kariya 19 (-18)
15 FC Ryukyu 18 (-13)
16 Ryutsu Keizai University 18 (-19)
17 Mitsubishi Mizushima 17 (-32)
18 Honda Lock 9 (-38)

05 Aug 05 - Action from Tottori’s home defeat at the hands of JEF Club

Action from Tottori’s home defeat at the hands of JEF Club
Arte Collapse As Ten Leave
JFL side Arte Takasaki, who have consistently indicated over the last few seasons that their intention was to work towards a place in the J-League, are now in a state of total disarray after no fewer than ten members of the first team squad have left the club. These include the key duo of midfielder Keita Fukada and striker Yoichi Mori, who have already joined JFL hopefuls and Kansai League winners Banditonce Kobe - but the only other player to have found a club is goalkeeper Go Kaburagi. In something of a humiliation for Arte fans, Kaburagi has moved to local prefectural league side Tonan SC Gunma, who it is arguable now look the more likely of the two teams to reach the J-League.

Brazilian legend Amaral nevertheless remains to take charge of what is now looking like a sinking ship and has been named as player-coach. Arte stand in eleventh place in the JFL, in what has been a profoundly disappointing season - and Amaral's debut in charge could scarcely be tougher, as they travel to in-form leaders Honda FC on Sunday. The intention must surely be to survive until the end of the season and avoid the relegation play-off places, but the experience of the club formerly called Gunma FC Horikoshi serves to underline what a cut-throat business it is to make the step up from the non-league ranks to the professional game.
Tokai League Division 2
Just two games in the Tokai League Division 2 over the weekend, but Nagoya Club's 6-3 away hammering of Morishin's FC not only confirms FC Kawasaki's immediate relegation back to the prefectural leagues, but also makes it more likely that Morishin's will be following them along the same route. For Nagoya are now four points ahead of the second relegation position and have a game in hand over their opponents on Sunday. Remarkably, winning that game in hand could see them climbing as high as third, so congested is the middle of the table. Fuyo Club hold that place at the moment, thanks to their 2-0 win over Mind House TC on Saturday, meaning they now haven't lost in five matches.

06 Aug 06 - Morishin’s celebrate a goal in their defeat by Nagoya

Morishin’s celebrate a goal in their defeat by Nagoya

Sat 29 Jul: Fuyo Club 2-0 Mind House TC

Sun 30 Jul: Morishin's FC 3-6 Nagoya Club

1 Kasugai Club 22 (+10)
2 Honda Suzuka 22 (+8)
3 Fuyo Club 17 (-)
4 Konica Minolta Toyokawa 16 (+5)
5 Mind House TC 16 (+2)
6 Nagoya Club 15 (-)
7 Morishin's FC 11 (-3)
8 FC Kawasaki 3 (-22)
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