Japanese Non-league Football News

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JFL - Round 24 (Midweek)
A goalless draw in the final JFL match of round 24 between strugglers Sagawa Printing and FC Ryukyu probably suits both sides, meaning as it does that they both ease that little bit further away from the relegation play-off zone currently occupied by Honda Lock and Mitsubishi Mizushima. After a disastrous start to the season - they were rock bottom at the end of May - Sagawa have slowly begun picking up points and now have just one defeat in their last five matches. Ryukyu have found it hard to move out of the bottom four but similarly now have one loss in seven, meaning that it is FC Kariya who are moving in the wrong direction and look likely to drop into the bottom two should Mitsubishi in particular notch a win or two.

31 Aug 06 - FC Ryukyu line up before their match at Sagawa Printing

FC Ryukyu line up before their match at Sagawa Printing

Wed 30 Aug: Sagawa Printing 0-0 FC Ryukyu

1 Honda FC 55 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 52 (+25)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 49 (+33)
4 YKK AP 49 (+26)
5 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 48 (+26)
6 Tochigi SC 42 (+13)
7 Alo's Hokuriku 41 (+19)
8 Yokogawa Musashino 41 (+10)
9 Sony Sendai 33 (+1)
10 SC Tottori 27 (+4)
11 Arte Takasaki 25 (-19)
12 Sagawa Printing 24 (-17)
13 Ryutsu Keizai University 22 (-15)
14 JEF Club 22 (-17)
15 FC Ryukyu 20 (-13)
16 FC Kariya 20 (-19)
17 Mitsubishi Mizushima 17 (-39)
18 Honda Lock 11 (-42)
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Ryukyu Aim For J-League Associate Membership
Putting aside for one moment the trifling fact that they have failed to acclimatise in the JFL following promotion from the Kyushu League at the end of 2005, FC Ryukyu have nevertheless announced their intention to apply for J-League associate membership during 2007. Regular readers of these pages will be aware that acceptance of such an application by the J-League is a necessary step in achieving promotion for any of the ambitious clubs currently populating the upper reaches of the semi-pro game in Japan - Rosso Kumamoto recently became associate members, while Tochigi SC were invited to re-apply in November. A further part of Ryukyu's application is likely to be their intention to develop a 10,000 capacity football-only stadium.

30 Aug 06 - FC Ryukyu’s proposed football-only stadium

FC Ryukyu’s proposed new ground. Well, a model of it, obviously
Tohoku Division 2(N)
Chasing runaway Tohoku League Division 2 (North) leaders FC Akita Cambiare in the solitary fixture on Sunday, the wheels of Mizusawa United Club's season came crashing off in totally unexpected fashion as they went down to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of mid-table Hokuto Bank. This brought to an end Mizusawa's four-game winning run and leaves them nine points behind Cambiare with no more games in hand.

Sun 27 Aug: Mizusawa United Club 1-3 Hokuto Bank

1 FC Akita Cambiare 27 (+21)
2 Mizusawa United Club 18 (+10)
3 Tono Club 13 (+11)
4 Hokuto Bank 11 (-1)
5 Vanraure Hachinohe 10 (-8)
6 Fuji Club 2003 7 (-2)
7 TDK Shinwakai 5 (-20)
8 Aster Aomori 3 (-11)
Hokkaido League
After a month's break the Hokkaido League returned to action at the weekend with Round 11 of this season's fixtures - and leaders Norbritz Hokkaido found themselves held to a shock goalless draw by strugglers Tokachi Fairsky. This enabled Barefoot Hokkaido to close the gap to three points following a vital 3-2 win at Sapporo Football Group, with Barefoot and Norbritz scheduled to meet head-to-head in the next match on 9th September. It was also a vital point for Tokachi in their fight to avoid relegation, though, as it kept the Regional League newcomers a point above the play-off place that is currently occupied by Thank FC, who could only pick up a draw at bottom place ACSC Asahikawa. The other match was a mid-table affair between Blackpecker Hakodate and Toyota Motors Hokkaido, Blackpecker managing a 2-0 win to break a run of four consecutive defeats.

27 Aug 06 - Norbritz and Tokachi see out a 0-0 draw under blue Hokkaido skies

Norbritz and Tokachi see out a 0-0 draw under blue Hokkaido skies

Sun 27 Aug: ACSC Asahikawa 3-3 Thank FC
Sun 27 Aug: Blackpecker Hakodate 2-0 Toyota Motors Hokkaido
Sun 27 Aug: Norbritz Hokkaido 0-0 Tokachi Fairsky
Sun 27 Aug: Sapporo Football Group 2-3 Barefoot Hokkaido

1 Norbritz Hokkaido 26 (+27)
2 Barefoot Hokkaido 23 (+5)
3 Sapporo Football Group 19 (+13)
4 Blackpecker Hakodate 15 (-2)
5 Toyota Motors Hokkaido 14 (-9)
6 Tokachi Fairsky 12 (-9)
7 Thank FC 11 (-2)
8 ACSC Asahikawa 5 (-23)

27 Aug 06 - Barefoot Hokkaido in red on the way to victory over Sapporo

Barefoot Hokkaido in red on the way to victory over Sapporo
Tohoku League Division 1
The first fixture for a month in Division 1 of the Tohoku League served merely to underline what the season to date has suggested - that TDK Akita are running away with the title. Their advantage over Grulla Morioka in second place now stands at twelve points following a 3-1 win at Sendai Nakata Club, who are still rooted to the foot of the division following promotion last year.

27 Aug 06 - TDK prepare to give Sendai Nakata a good duffing up

TDK prepare to give Sendai Nakata a good duffing up

Sun 27 Aug: Sendai Nakata Club 1-3 TDK Akita

1 TDK Akita 33 (+42)
2 Grulla Morioka 21 (+6)
3 NEC Tokin 16 (+6)
4 FC Primeiro 16 (-6)
5 Wiese Shiogama 9 (-4)
6 Morioka Zebra 5 (-15)
7 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 4 (-19)
8 Sendai Nakata Club 3 (-10)
JFL - Round 24
Just two JFL games on Saturday in a stripped-down programme over the weekend, but Arte Takasaki nevertheless caused a major shock in their match at Tochigi SC. The Gunma precture-based side, torn apart in recent weeks by the departure of no fewer than ten members of the first team squad, stunned their near neighbours by scoring two goals in the last six minutes for a 2-1 victory that not only moved Arte themselves three places up the table, but also finishes off once and for all Tochigi's already distant hopes of landing a top two finish.

In the second match, Mitsubishi Mizushima travelled to the Chugoku rivals SC Tottori desperately needing points in their battle to avoid a likely relegation play-off come the end of the season. But an early goal from Tottori forward Tetsuya Hori meant that they were always up against it and Hideki Uchiyama added two more in the last twenty minutes to confirm the defeat for Mitsubishi.

26 Aug 06 - Arte Takasaki on the attack against Tochigi

Arte Takasaki on the attack against Tochigi

Sat 26 Aug: SC Tottori 3-0 Mitsubishi Mizushima
Sat 26 Aug: Tochigi SC 1-2 Arte Takasaki

1 Honda FC 55 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 52 (+25)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 49 (+33)
4 YKK AP 49 (+26)
5 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 48 (+26)
6 Tochigi SC 42 (+13)
7 Alo's Hokuriku 41 (+19)
8 Yokogawa Musashino 41 (+10)
9 Sony Sendai 33 (+1)
10 SC Tottori 27 (+4)
11 Arte Takasaki 25 (-19)
12 Sagawa Printing 23 (-17)
13 Ryutsu Keizai University 22 (-15)
14 JEF Club 22 (-17)
15 FC Kariya 20 (-19)
16 FC Ryukyu 19 (-13)
17 Mitsubishi Mizushima 17 (-39)
18 Honda Lock 11 (-42)

26 Aug 06 - Tottori in green get the better of Mitsubishi Mizushima

Tottori in green get the better of Mitsubishi Mizushima
Kansai League Awards 2006
Division 1 champions Banditonce Kobe have dominated the Kansai League awards for 2006, the results of which have just been announced. Player of the Year is Banditonce's former Kawasaki Frontale defender Ryosuke Kanzaki, while Kanzaki and his team-mates make up no fewer than seven members of the season's Best XI. Another defender, Daisuke Yamazaki of Technonet Osaka, takes the equivalent award in Division 2.
Tohoku League Division 2 (S)
A single game this weekend in the Tohoku League Division 2 (South), with leaders Marysol Matsushima extending their advantage to three points after a 4-1 win over Shichigahama SC. Second place Furukawa Battery nevertheless have a 100% record, two matches in hand and an only marginally inferior goal difference on Marysol.

Sun 20 Aug: Marysol Matsushima 4-1 Shichigahama SC

1 Marysol Matsushima 24 (+29)
2 Furukawa Battery 21 (+24)
3 Northern Peaks Koriyama 12 (+9)
4 Kanai Club 9 (-10)
5 FC Perada Fukushima 4 (-11)
6 Shichigahama SC 4 (-18)
7 Kureha Chemicals 0 (-23)
Tohoku Division 2(N)
Aster Aomori's scheduled match with Vanraure Hachinohe was postponed, leaving FC Akita Cambiare against Hokuto Bank as the only fixture in the Tohoku League Division 2 (North) over the weekend. Leaders Cambiare coasted to a 5-2 victory and have now won nine matches out of nine, making them hot favourites for promotion at the end of the season.

Sun 20 Aug: FC Akita Cambiare 5-2 Hokuto Bank

1 FC Akita Cambiare 27 (+21)
2 Mizusawa United Club 18 (+12)
3 Tono Club 13 (+11)
4 Vanraure Hachinohe 10 (-8)
5 Hokuto Bank 8 (-3)
6 Fuji Club 2003 7 (-2)
7 TDK Shinwakai 5 (-20)
8 Aster Aomori 3 (-11)
All-Japan Shakaijin 2006 - Hokushinetsu Qualification Tournament
第42回全国社会人サッカー選手権大会・北信越予選

Sat 19 Aug: Maruoka Phoenix 0-3 Japan Soccer College
Sat 19 Aug: Fervorosa 2-1 Nissei Resin

Sun 20 Aug: Nagano Elsa 2-3 Japan Soccer College
Sun 20 Aug: Valiente Toyama 1-2 Fervorosa

Japan Soccer College and Fervorosa therefore qualify for the national finals in Akita in October.

19 Aug 06 - Fervorosa overcome Hokushinetsu League Division 2 side Nissei Resin

Fervorosa overcome Hokushinetsu League Division 2 side Nissei Resin

Japan Soccer College also gained a potentially vital advantage in their psychological battle with Nagano Elsa ahead of next month's Hokushinetsu League Division 1 title decider between the two teams.
JFL - Round 24 (Sunday)
Any round-up of Sunday's JFL action has to begin with the fourth-against-first clash between Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo and Honda FC, in which Daiju Kawashima's goal eleven minutes from time for leaders Honda gave them a 1-1 draw, after Kento Hori had put Sagawa ahead just before the break. With Rosso Kumamoto having won on Saturday, Honda's advantage stands now at three points, while Sagawa move into fourth on goal difference from YKK AP.

On the fringes of the race for the title, Alo's Hokuriku gained a good 3-0 win at Arte Takasaki thanks in part to two goals from Kazuma Matsushita - but Tochigi SC went one better as they put four past Sony Sendai to move up to sixth. Arte, meanwhile, are finding themselves drawn inexorably into the relegation zone, a situation made more severe by Ryutsu Keizai University's last-minute equaliser at home to Honda Lock. The resulting point saw RKU move above both Arte and JEF Club into twelfth, their highest position to date.

20 Aug 06 - Yoshio Kitagawa steps up for Alo’s Hokuriku at Arte Takasaki

Yoshio Kitagawa steps up for Alo’s Hokuriku at Arte Takasaki

Sun 20 Aug: Arte Takasaki 0-3 Alo's Hokuriku
Sun 20 Aug: Ryutsu Keizai University 2-2 Honda Lock
Sun 20 Aug: Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 1-1 Honda FC
Sun 20 Aug: Sony Sendai 0-4 Tochigi SC

1 Honda FC 55 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 52 (+25)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 49 (+33)
4 YKK AP 49 (+26)
5 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 48 (+26)
6 Tochigi SC 42 (+14)
7 Alo's Hokuriku 41 (+19)
8 Yokogawa Musashino 41 (+10)
9 Sony Sendai 33 (+1)
10 SC Tottori 24 (+1)
11 Sagawa Printing 23 (-17)
12 Ryutsu Keizai University 22 (-15)
13 JEF Club 22 (-17)
14 Arte Takasaki 22 (-20)
15 FC Kariya 20 (-19)
16 FC Ryukyu 19 (-13)
17 Mitsubishi Mizushima 17 (-36)
18 Honda Lock 11 (-42)

20 Aug 06 - Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo meet Honda FC under thunderous skies

Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo meet Honda FC under thunderous skies
Tochigi Snap Up Arte's Yamada
Tochigi SC, currently enduring something of a downturn in their JFL form - and fresh from the disappointment of having their J-League associate membership application rejected - have bolstered their squad with a new signing. Midfielder Tomonari Yamada is 26 and joins from crisis club and near neighbours Arte Takasaki.
JFL - Round 24 (Saturday)
A vital win for Rosso Kumamoto on Saturday has reognited the JFL title race ahead of Sunday's clash between Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo and frontrunner Honda FC. Twenty five minutes in, however, and things looked very different for the Kyushu side as they trailed 2-0 at relegation-threatened FC Kariya, thanks to two goals from in-form striker Tomohiro Ito. But Rosso fought back after the interval and pulled level through Mitsuhiro Seki just after the hour, former Gunma FC Horikoshi forward Tamon Machida finally grabbing the winner two minutes from time.

This result not only means that Kariya remain just three points above Mitsubishi Mizushima in the relegation play-off places, but also closes the gap at the top between Honda and Rosso to just two points. Back into third place, though, are a YKK AP side who appear to be returning to something approaching the form that saw them go clear in first early on during the season. In a tough match at Yokogawa Musashino they were a goal behind to a Yosuke Kobayashi effort after half an hour, but a brace from Haksun Fang had the Toyama club ahead at half time. Kim Jae Dong equalised for Yokogawa only for defender Kengo Tsutsumi to claim all three points for YKK.

19 Aug 06 - FC Kariya defend a Rosso Kumamoto corner

FC Kariya defend a Rosso Kumamoto corner

Sat 19 Aug: FC Kariya 2-3 Rosso Kumamoto
Sat 19 Aug: Yokogawa Musashino 2-3 YKK AP

1 Honda FC 54 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 52 (+25)
3 YKK AP 49 (+26)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 48 (+33)
5 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 48 (+26)
6 Yokogawa Musashino 41 (+10)
7 Tochigi SC 39 (+10)
8 Alo's Hokuriku 38 (+16)
9 Sony Sendai 33 (+5)
10 SC Tottori 24 (+1)
11 Sagawa Printing 23 (-17)
12 JEF Club 22 (-17)
13 Arte Takasaki 22 (-17)
14 Ryutsu Keizai University 21 (-15)
15 FC Kariya 20 (-19)
16 FC Ryukyu 19 (-13)
17 Mitsubishi Mizushima 17 (-36)
18 Honda Lock 10 (-42)

19 Aug 06 - Yokogawa Musashino set up a free kick against YKK AP

Yokogawa Musashino set up a free kick against YKK AP
Tohoku Division 2(N)
There was just a single fixture in Division 2 (North) of the Tohoku League over the weekend - indeed, over the whole of the Regional league set-up across Japan - which saw Hokuto Bank pick up an excellent 5-2 win at TDK Shinwakai. Hokuto now move closer to mid-table with games in hand over the teams around them, but newly-promoted TDK are struggling and have now lost six of their last seven matches, conceding twenty in the last four as they find it hard to come to terms with the higher level of football.

Sat 12 Aug: TDK Shinwakai 2-5 Hokuto Bank

1 FC Akita Cambiare 24 (+18)
2 Mizusawa United Club 18 (+12)
3 Tono Club 13 (+11)
4 Vanraure Hachinohe 10 (-8)
5 Hokuto Bank 8 (-)
6 Fuji Club 2003 7 (-2)
7 TDK Shinwakai 5 (-20)
8 Aster Aomori 3 (-11)
Rosso Gain J-League Associate Membership
Rosso Kumamoto's application for associate membership of the J-League has been approved, giving the ambitious Kyushu-based outfit the green light to join the professional ranks should performances on the pitch be good enough. The same J-League meeting also considered but rejected Tochigi SC's application because the club's level of financial planning was felt to be insufficient. Tochigi's situation will be re-considered in November.
Lock Signing
JFL strugglers Honda Lock have announced the signing of Yuji Saruwatari, a 19-year-old defender from Kyushu League club Volca Kagoshima.
JFL - Round 23 (Sunday)
Although most of the focus of attention in the JFL on Sunday was towards the bottom of the table, Honda FC nevertheless managed to extend their lead at the top to five points over Rosso Kumamoto - but the title hopefuls will surely be feeling that this was a missed opportunity, given that they only drew 0-0 at home against Sony Sendai. The big winners of the day, however, were undoubtedly Ryutsu Keizai University, who dished out a 4-0 thrashing to Mitsubishi Mizushima in their relegation battle. With FC Ryukyu drawing at home to SC Tottori and FC Kariya needing a late equaliser to get a 1-1 tie at Honda Lock, RKU have jumped two crucial places in the division - a move yet bettered by Sagawa Printing, for whom Hideyuki Ishida scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over JEF Club. All of a sudden, things look even more serious for Mitsubishi and Ryukyu as they aim to stay out of the bottom two and the end-of-season relegation play-off.

13 Aug 06 - Sagawa Printing before their match at JEF Club

Sagawa Printing before their match at JEF Club

Sun 13 Aug: FC Ryukyu 3-3 SC Tottori
Sun 13 Aug: Honda FC 0-0 Sony Sendai
Sun 13 Aug: Honda Lock 1-1 FC Kariya
Sun 13 Aug: JEF Club 0-3 Sagawa Printing
Sun 13 Aug: Mitsubishi Mizushima 0-4 Ryutsu Keizai University

1 Honda FC 54 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 49 (+24)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 48 (+33)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 48 (+26)
5 YKK AP 46 (+25)
6 Yokogawa Musashino 41 (+11)
7 Tochigi SC 39 (+10)
8 Alo's Hokuriku 38 (+16)
9 Sony Sendai 33 (+5)
10 SC Tottori 24 (+1)
11 Sagawa Printing 23 (-17)
12 JEF Club 22 (-17)
13 Arte Takasaki 22 (-17)
14 Ryutsu Keizai University 21 (-15)
15 FC Kariya 20 (-18)
16 FC Ryukyu 19 (-13)
17 Mitsubishi Mizushima 17 (-36)
18 Honda Lock 10 (-42)

13 Aug 06 - Honda Lock punish FC Kariya for their truly astonishing away kit

Honda Lock punish FC Kariya for their truly astonishing away kit
JFL - Round 23 (Saturday)
The big winners from Saturday's three JFL fixtures were undoubtedly leaders Honda FC - and they didn't even kick a ball. But defeats for both Rosso Kumamoto and Sagawa Kyubin Osaka mean that the Reds from Shizuoka prefecture are four points clear of the pack with a match in hand, that game being tomorrow's eminently winnable home clash against mid-table Sony Sendai. Second place Rosso were continually chasing the game at home to in-form Sagawa Tokyo after Shingo Nakaharai put the visitors ahead half way through the first half, and they eventually went down 3-2 in what is their first defeat since losing at Honda in May.

Sagawa Osaka meanwhile took the lead in Toyama against YKK AP, with another goal from Sho Gakyu, but rather surprisingly lost their way after the break and conceded two in the final sixteen minutes in a 2-1 defeat. This means that Osaka slip behind their company rivals from Tokyo, while also enabling YKK somewhat surprisingly to move back within a couple of points of the top four. A brace from Yoshio Kitagawa appeared to have put Alo's Hokuriku in control in the other match, but they let slip their advantage as Yokogawa Musashino pulled back to claim a point and remain in fifth place.

12 Aug 06 - Yoshio Kitagawa on target for Alo’s against Yokogawa

Yoshio Kitagawa on target for Alo's against Yokogawa

Sat 12 Aug: Alo's Hokuriku 2-2 Yokogawa Musashino
Sat 12 Aug: Rosso Kumamoto 2-3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo
Sat 12 Aug: YKK AP 2-1 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka

1 Honda FC 53 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 49 (+24)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 48 (+33)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 48 (+26)
5 YKK AP 46 (+25)
6 Yokogawa Musashino 41 (+11)
7 Tochigi SC 39 (+10)
8 Alo's Hokuriku 38 (+16)
9 Sony Sendai 32 (+5)
10 SC Tottori 23 (+1)
11 JEF Club 22 (-14)
12 Arte Takasaki 22 (-17)
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 (-42)

12 Aug 06 - Kohei Onishi, on target for YKK AP against Sagawa Tokyo

Kohei Onishi, on target for YKK AP against Sagawa Tokyo
Shake-up At Lock / Rosso Signing
Koji Matsuyama has returned to the hot-seat as coach of the JFL's relegation-threatened Honda Lock as part of a general shake-up of the club's coaching staff, while Kyushu neighbours Rosso Kumamoto have snapped up midfielders Daisuke Yano from Sagan Tosu and Kiyoshi Saito on his departure from Arte Takasaki.
JFL Update
Taking advantage of the scheduling of a single mid-week JFL fixture, surprise package Sagawa Kyubin Osaka have issued perhaps their strongest claim yet that their title aspirations are to be taken seriously. No longer can the division be regarded as a two-horse race, with only Honda FC and Rosso Kumamoto potential winners. For big former Thespa Kusatsu forward Sho Gokyu notched up no fewer than five goals, taking his season tally to twelve as Sagawa crushed JEF Club 6-0 at the company's Moriyama Stadium in Shiga prefecture.

This result means that they now have three consecutive wins with no goals conceded, and aside from matches against YKK AP and a potentially crucial last game of the season at home to Rosso, the run-in looks to be extremely straightforward. Current leaders Honda, on the other hand, have a far tougher-looking set of games, of which only five of twelve are at home, and although the JFL newcomers from Kumamoto will be optimistic that they can close the four-point gap between themselves and the frontrunners, Sagawa Osaka - who boast the best defence in the league - surely cannot now be discounted.

09 Aug 06 - Sho Gokyu celebrates his 482nd goal of the game against JEF

Sho Gokyu celebrates his 482nd goal of the game against JEF

Wed 09 Aug: Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 6-0 JEF Club

1 Honda FC 53 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 49 (+25)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 48 (+27)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 45 (+32)
5 YKK AP 43 (+24)
6 Yokogawa Musashino 40 (+11)
7 Tochigi SC 39 (+10)
8 Alo's Hokuriku 37 (+16)
9 Sony Sendai 32 (+5)
10 SC Tottori 23 (+1)
11 JEF Club 22 (-14)
12 Arte Takasaki 22 (-17)
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 (-42)
Tohoku League Division 2 (North)
With FC Akita Cambiare's game against Hokuto Bank cancelled due to the former's participation in Emperor's Cup qualification - they beat TDK Shinwakai 4-1 on Saturday but then lost 2-0 to local top dogs TDK Akita the next day - Tono Club's 5-0 thrashing of Vanrarure Hachinohe constituted the only fixture in the Tohoku League Division 2 (North) this weekend. It consolidates Tono's place in third, but they still lie five points behind Mizusawa United Club.

Sun 06 Aug: Tono Club 5-0 Vanrarure Hachinohe

1 FC Akita Cambiare 24 (+18)
2 Mizusawa United Club 18 (+12)
3 Tono Club 13 (+11)
4 Vanrarure Hachinohe 10 (-8)
5 Fuji Club 2003 7 (-2)
6 Hokuto Bank 5 (-3)
7 TDK Shinwakai 5 (-17)
8 Aster Aomori 3 (-11)
Tohoku League Division 2 (South)
Furukawa Battery made giant strides back towards the top of the Tohoku League Division 2 (South) in the solitary fixture on Sunday as they dished out a 7-0 thumping to Kanai Club. This leaves them level on points with Marysol Matsushima, but still with a game in hand. The one remaining game in August in this division sees Marysol host Shichigahama SC in two weeks' time, but the likely title decider between the current frontrunners isn't until the end of October - and the final round of the schedules.

06 Aug 06 - Kentaro Hisa calms things down for Furukawa against the greens of Kanai

Keeper Kentaro Hisa calms things down for Furukawa against the greens of Kanai

Sun 06 Aug: Kanai Club 0-7 Furukawa Battery

1 Marysol Matsushima 21 (+26)
2 Furukawa Battery 21 (+24)
3 Northern Peaks Koriyama 12 (+9)
4 Kanai Club 9 (-10)
5 FC Perada Fukushima 4 (-11)
6 Shichigahama SC 4 (-15)
7 Kureha Chemicals 0 (-23)
Chugoku League
With a 3-0 win over Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado, FC Central Chugoku moved above Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku into second place in the Chugoku League on Sunday, thereby closing the gap between themselves and leaders Fagiano Okayama to five points.

06 Aug 06 - FC Central and Hitachi line up before their Chugoku League match

FC Central and Hitachi line up before their Chugoku League match

Sun 06 Aug: FC Central Chugoku 3-0 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado

1 Fagiano Okayama 24 (+24)
2 FC Central Chugoku 19 (+16)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 18 (+15)
4 Renofa Yamaguchi 15 (-5)
5 JFE Steel 12 (-2)
6 Hiroshima Fujita SC 9 (-14)
7 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 7 (-15)
8 Iwami SC 4 (-19)
Kanto League Division 2 - Round 13
Booking their place in the Kanto League Division 1 for next season are FC Machida Zelvia, promoted thanks to their 2-0 win on Saturday over Ome FC - but the race for the other promotion spot goes down to the wire, with both Hitachi Tochigi Uva and Furukawa Electrics Chiba still in contention following victories over All Kamisu SC and Kanagawa Teachers respectively. Unfortunately for Furukawa, Hitachi are scheduled to take on relegation candidates Aries FC, who did their cause no good with a home defeat to Nirasaki Astros.

05 Aug 06 - Komazawa Stadium is packed out for Ome against Machida

Komazawa Stadium is packed out for Ome against Machida

Sat 05 Aug: Aries FC 0-1 Nirasaki Astros
Sat 05 Aug: Ome FC 0-2 FC Machida Zelvia

Sun 06 Aug: Furukawa Electrics Chiba 4-0 All Kamisu SC
Sun 06 Aug: Hitachi Tochigi Uva 3-1 Kanagawa Teachers

1 FC Machida Zelvia 29 (+27)
2 Hitachi Tochigi Uva 27 (+15)
3 Furukawa Electrics Chiba 25 (+11)
4 Nirasaki Astros 21 (-4)
5 Ome FC 18 (-2)
6 Kanagawa Teachers 11 (-12)
7 Aries FC 8 (-13)
8 All Kamisu SC 6 (-22)
Kanto League Division 1 - Round 13
Yaita SC's poor recent form finally caught up with them on Sunday and they slipped into second place in the Kanto League Division 1, after having led the rankings all season. A defeat at Toshiba Fuchu coupled with Luminozo Sayama's 3-1 win over MSDF Atsugi Marcus means that reigning champions Luminozo go into the last round on 10 September in the lead on goal difference. Third place belongs to YSCC, 2-1 winners over Hanno Bruder - and given that YSCC's one remaining fixture is at Yaita, this match will in all likelihood decide who joins Luminozo in the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off for a place in the JFL. Elsewhere, mid-table sides Saitama SC and Toho Titanium drew their match, but those losses for MSDF and Hanno confirmed that they are relegated to Division 2 for 2007.

06 Aug 06 - Shinya Kobayashi in possession for Luminozo against Marcus

Shinya Kobayashi in possession for Luminozo against Marcus

Sun 06 Aug: Luminozo Sayama 3-1 MSDF Atsugi Marcus
Sun 06 Aug: Saitama SC 0-0 Toho Titanium
Sun 06 Aug: Toshiba Fuchu 1-0 Yaita SC
Sun 06 Aug: YSCC 2-1 Hanno Bruder

1 Luminozo Sayama 24 (+12)
2 Yaita SC 24 (+10)
3 YSCC 21 (+7)
4 Toshiba Fuchu 19 (+1)
5 Saitama SC 17 (+4)
6 Toho Titanium 17 (-10)
7 MSDF Atsugi Marcus 12 (-10)
8 Hanno Bruder 10 (-14)
Kyushu League
V Varen Nagasaki confirmed their status as Kyushu League champions for 2006 thanks to a 3-1 win at rivals New Wave Kitakyushu on Saturday evening. Ex-Shonan Bellmare midfielder Yuuya Sano scored twice in the second half to help see off New Wave in front of a disappointed home crowd of 1500, who have in the past week seen their side slip behind in the race to claim a place in the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off at the end of the season. Indeed, with only two matches now remaining, it now needs a miracle to take them past Nippon Steel Oita, who made almost certain of runners-up spot with a 3-1 win at Volca Kagoshima. At the other end of the table, Kaiho Bank SC crashed to Nanakuma Tombies in the relegation battle - but a good win for Osumi NIFS United over Okinawa Kariyushi means that Nanakuma nevertheless stay rooted in the bottom two.


05 Aug 06 - A New Wave flag on sale at the V Varen match, yours for 500 yen

A New Wave flag on sale at the V Varen match, yours for 500 yen

Sat 05 Aug: New Wave Kitakyushu 1-3 V Varen Nagasaki

Sun 06 Aug: Nanakuma Tombies 3-0 Kaiho Bank SC
Sun 06 Aug: Osumi NIFS United 5-1 Okinawa Kariyushi
Sun 06 Aug: Volca Kagoshima 1-3 Nippon Steel Oita

1 V Varen Nagasaki 40 (+28)
2 Nippon Steel Oita 36 (+27)
3 New Wave Kitakyushu 30 (+15)
4 Volca Kagoshima 27 (+15)
5 Okinawa Kariyushi 24 (+1)
6 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 12 (-10)
7 Osumi NIFS United 11 (-14)
8 Nanakuma Tombies 8 (-35)
9 Kaiho Bank SC 4 (-27)

06 Aug 06 - Volca Kagoshima go for goal against Nippon Steel

Volca Kagoshima go for goal against Nippon Steel
Tohoku League Division 1
Two goals from former Ventforet Kofu defender Hirotoshi Yokoyama helped TDK Akita to a 4-0 win last weekend over their nearest challengers in the Tohoku League Division 1, Grulla Morioka. A 2300-strong crowd were on hand to witness TDK go three ahead by half-time and the result almost certainly seals the 2006 championship, especially in the light of Grulla's current decline. In a rescheduled fixture, Sendai Nakata Club fell to the bottom of the division as Nippon Steel Kamaishi picked up a first win of 2006.

30 Jul 06 - TDK rub it in rather

TDK rub it in rather

Sun 30 Jul: Nippon Steel Kamaishi 3-1 Sendai Nakata Club
Sun 30 Jul: TDK Akita 4-0 Grulla Morioka

1 TDK Akita 30 (+40)
2 Grulla Morioka 21 (+6)
3 NEC Tokin 16 (+6)
4 FC Primeiro 16 (-6)
5 Wiese Shiogama 9 (-4)
6 Morioka Zebra 5 (-15)
7 Nippon Steel Kamaishi 4 (-19)
8 Sendai Nakata Club 3 (-8)
JFL - Round 22 (Sunday)
JFL crisis side Arte Takasaki came within an ace of causing a sensation in their match on Sunday afternoon, for just days after ten players departed the club, the fixture list had pitched them up against league leaders Honda FC. Arte nevertheless held the score to 0-0 at half-time and nine minutes after the re-start, Asahi Yamamoto - a midfielder formerly at the university in Honda's own home town of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka prefecture - gave them a stunning lead. The defence held out until three minutes from time, when Junya Nitta managed an equaliser and then Gunma hearts were broken seconds later, when reserve forward Hironaga Ukai stole a 2-1 victory for Honda.

If that kept the frontrunners going at the top of the table, Rosso Kumamoto are still hot in their heels after thrashing their Kyushu rivals Honda Lock 5-1. The match was sewn up for Rosso in barely more than half-an-hour, by which time they were already four goals ahead, including two from captain Shin Asahina. Returning to third spot, meanwhile, are Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo, for whom Kento Hori netted a last-minute goal at Sony Sendai to extend the team's winning run to eight.

06 Aug 06 - Rough and tumble between Honda Lock and Rosso Kumamoto

Rough and tumble between Honda Lock and Rosso Kumamoto

Sun 06 Aug: Arte Takasaki 1-2 Honda FC
Sun 06 Aug: Honda Lock 1-5 Rosso Kumamoto
Sun 06 Aug: Sony Sendai 0-1 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo

1 Honda FC 53 (+24)
2 Rosso Kumamoto 49 (+25)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 45 (+32)
4 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 45 (+21)
5 YKK AP 43 (+24)
6 Yokogawa Musashino 40 (+11)
7 Tochigi SC 39 (+10)
8 Alo's Hokuriku 37 (+16)
9 Sony Sendai 32 (+5)
10 SC Tottori 23 (+1)
11 JEF Club 22 (-8)
12 Arte Takasaki 22 (-17)
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 (-42)

06 Aug 06 - Hironaga Ukai, scorer of the winner for Honda FC at Arte Takasaki

Hironaga Ukai, scorer of the winner for Honda FC at Arte Takasaki
All-Japan Shakaijin 2006 - Kansai Qualification Tournament
第42回全国社会人サッカー選手権大会・関西予選

Sun 30 Jul: Banditonce Kobe 7-0 Kindaigomonnkai
Sun 30 Jul: Volcano 2-6 FC Nishiomiya A
Sun 30 Jul: Kobe FC 1970 4-2 FC Osaka
Sun 30 Jul: Toray Industries Shiga TOP 0-7 Kumiyama FC
Sun 30 Jul: Sanyo Electric Sumoto 6-0 Nissha
Sun 30 Jul: Hokuku Engineering 3-2 Yanmar Amagasaki
Sun 30 Jul: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 6-0 Kainan FC
Sun 30 Jul: Kyoto Fushimi Friends 2-2 Central SC (PK 5-4)
Sun 30 Jul: Ain Food 3-0 Tonan Club
Sun 30 Jul: Estrela Tsuda SC 0-6 FC Kyoto BAMB 1993
Sun 30 Jul: AS Laranja Kyoto 4-1 Jouer FC
Sun 30 Jul: FC Nishiomiya B 1-2 Technonet Osaka

Sun 06 Aug: Banditonce Kobe 2-3 FC Nishiomiya A
Sun 06 Aug: Kobe FC 1970 5-1 Kumiyama FC
Sun 06 Aug: Sanyo Electric Sumoto 4-1 Hokuku Engineering
Sun 06 Aug: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 5-0 Kyoto Fushimi Friends
Sun 06 Aug: Ain Food 2-1 FC Kyoto BAMB 1993
Sun 06 Aug: AS Laranja Kyoto 3-0 Technonet Osaka

FC Nishiomiya A, Kobe FC 1970, Sanyo Electric Sumoto, FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu, Ain Food and AS Laranja Kyoto therefore qualify for the national finals in Akita in October.

Five of these teams come from Division 1 of the Kansai League, the most obvious exception being FC Nishiomiya A. Not only did they eliminate from the tournament this year's newly-crowned Kansai League champions Banditonce Kobe, but Nishiomiya themselves are not even participants at regional level. Instead, the club are mid-ranking members of Hyogo Prefectural League's Division 1 and their 3-2 triumph over Banditonce therefore constitutes an impressive piece of giantkilling.
New Arte's First Signing
Under-pressure JFL outfit Arte Takasaki have confirmed the first new member of their squad following the recent departure of no fewer than ten players that has left in tatters their J-League dreams. Takeshi Ogawa is a forward who moves to Gunma from Kanagawa-based Seisho Club.
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