Japanese Non-league Football News

Chugoku League
Goals aplenty in round 2 of the Chugoku League on Sunday, with champions Fagiano Okayama leading the way. They put four in each half past the whipping boys from Yamaguchi prefecture, Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado, and are top of the fledgling league table on goal difference. Just behind them, FC Central Chugoku and Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku both made it two wins out of two, FC Central rather surprisingly picking up only a 1-0 win over promoted side Mazda SC, while Sagawa took the local bragging rights in Hiroshima by beating Hiroshima Fujita SC 2-0.

But the shock result of the round came just down the road in Fukuyama, where traditionally one of the league’s weaker teams, JFE Steel Western Japan, overcame Renofa Yamaguchi 4-1. The former Yamaguchi Teachers side last year appeared to have made significant strides towards becoming competitive at Regional level, with the intention in several seasons’ time of making the push for JFL membership and then J2 itself. But this defeat by JFE calls into question how prepared Renofa are to provide any kind of challenge to the top teams in Chugoku.

22 Apr 07 - Mazda SC in blue are outmuscled by FC Central Chugoku

Mazda SC in blue are outmuscled by FC Central Chugoku

Sun 22 Apr: Hiroshima Fujita SC 0-2 Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku
Sun 22 Apr: Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 0-8 Fagiano Okayama
Sun 22 Apr: JFE Steel Western Japan 4-1 Renofa Yamaguchi
Sun 22 Apr: Mazda SC 0-1 FC Central Chugoku

1. Fagiano Okayama 6 (+12)
2. FC Central Chugoku 6 (+7)
3. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 6 (+7)
4. JFE Steel Western Japan 3 (-2)
5. Hiroshima Fujita SC 1 (-2)
6. Renofa Yamaguchi 1 (-3)
7. Mazda SC 0 (-5)
8. Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 0 (-14)

Shikoku League
The sensational start to the Shikoku League 2007 campaign by Tokushima Vortis Amateur continued in round 3 on Sunday, with their most significant result achieved to date. Defeats of Ehime Shimanami and Sanyo Electric Tokushima were impressive enough, but a 2-1 win over title challengers Nangoku Kochi indicates that Vortis are genuinely in contention for the Regional championship.

Of course, 2006 League winners Kamatamare Sanuki might have something to say about that, continuing as they did their own perfect start to the year by beating Ventana AC 4-0. And in the two other fixtures, Ehime Shimanami at last got off the mark with a narrow 3-2 defeat of Sanwa Club, while in the day’s derby match Sanyo Electric Tokushima beat Tokushima Comprille SC 2-0.

22 Apr 07 - Ventana in white lose out to Kamatamare Sanuki

Ventana in white lose out to Kamatamare Sanuki

Sun 22 Apr: Ehime Shimanami 3-2 Sanwa Club
Sun 22 Apr: Tokushima Comprille SC 0-2 Sanyo Electric Tokushima
Sun 22 Apr: Tokushima Vortis Amateur 2-1 Nangoku Kochi
Sun 22 Apr: Ventana AC 0-4 Kamatamare Sanuki

1. Tokushima Vortis Amateur 9 (+13)
2. Kamatamare Sanuki 9 (+13)
3. Nangoku Kochi 6 (+8)
4. Sanyo Electric Tokushima 6 (+1)
5. Ventana AC 3 (-6)
6. Ehime Shimanami 3 (-8)
7. Tokushima Comprille SC 0 (-9)
8. Sanwa Club 0 (-12)
Hokushinetsu League Division 1
The Hokushinetsu League Division 1 is arguably shaping up to be about the most fascinating of Japan’s Regional Leagues in 2007. After Sunday’s round 3, Nagano prefecture rivals AC Nagano Parceiro and Matsumoto Yamaga Club are dead level at the top of the division with a 100% record and an impressive +12 goal difference, Parceiro having beaten minnows FC Ueda Gentian, while Matsumoto put five past promoted side Valiente Toyama.

But Zweigen Kanazawa also have three wins out of three, the latest coming against relegation candidates Niigata University of Management, who like Ueda and Valiente have yet to get off the mark at the foot of the table. Perhaps the most significant result of the day, however, saw Ishikawa prefecture’s Fervorosa beat 2006 champions Japan Soccer College 3-2 - which has the potential to dismiss JSC from the title race altogether, so close is the competition.

22 Apr 07 - Fun aplenty at Fervorosa vs JSC

Fun aplenty at Fervorosa vs JSC

Sun 22 Apr: FC Ueda Gentian 0-2 AC Nagano Parceiro
Sun 22 Apr: Fervorosa 3-2 Japan Soccer College
Sun 22 Apr: Niigata University of Management 0-3 Zweigen Kanazawa
Sun 22 Apr: Valiente Toyama 1-5 Matsumoto Yamaga Club

1. = AC Nagano Parceiro 9 (+12)
1. = Matsumoto Yamaga Club 9 (+12)
3. Zweigen Kanazawa 9 (+5)
4. Japan Soccer College 6 (+7)
5. Fervorosa 3 (-1)
6. Ueda Gentian 0 (-9)
7. Valiente Toyama 0 (-10)
8. Niigata University of Management 0 (-15)

22 Apr 07 - Goalmouth action from NUM against Zweigen Kanazawa

Goalmouth action from NUM against Zweigen Kanazawa
Hokushinetsu League Division 2
It’s all very close in Division 2 of the Hokushinetsu League following on from Sunday’s round 3 fixtures, four teams within a single point of the top spot. That’s currently held by FC Antelope Shiojiri, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Teihens FC and thus gave up their 100% record. But ambitious Saurcos Fukui overcame new boys Ohara School JaSRA 3-2 and in joint third place now are Granscena Niigata – shock 1-0 losers to local rivals CUPS Niigata – and Maruoka Phoenix, who ensured that Toyama Shinjo Club’s miserable start to the year continued by beating them 2-0.

22 Apr 07 - An FC Antelope banner encourages the lads against Teihens

An FC Antelope banner encourages the lads against Teihens

Sun 22 Apr: CUPS Niigata 1-0 Granscena Niigata
Sun 22 Apr: FC Antelope Shiojiri 1-1 Teihens FC
Sun 22 Apr: Ohara School JaSRA 2-3 Saurcos Fukui
Sun 22 Apr: Toyama Shinjo Club 0-2 Maruoka Phoenix

1. FC Antelope Shiojiri 7 (+2)
2. Saurcos Fukui 6 (+4)
3. = Granscena Niigata 6 (+3)
3. = Maruoka Phoenix 6 (+3)
5. Teihens FC 4 (+5)
6. Ohara School JaSRA 3 (-2)
7. CUPS Niigata 3 (-5)
8. Toyama Shinjo Club 0 (-10)
Kansai League Division 1
The Kansai League Division 1 is already showing signs of being a two-horse race, only a couple of rounds in to the 2007 season. Champions Banditonce Kobe continue to rule the roost - on goal difference at least, at this early stage - following their 4-0 drubbing of promoted side FC Glaspo Kashiwara, but right behind them are last year's runners up FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu. The team from Shiga prefecture picked up a comfortable 3-0 win over the Osakans of Ain Food to keep pace with Banditonce.

It's Glaspo who rather unsurprisingly prop up the table for the time being, but the decline in recent seasons of Kobe FC 1970 seems to be continuing. Defeated at home by Ain, the side who were until the rise of Banditonce one of the top teams in the region lost again on Sunday, this time to AS Laranja Kyoto and as such they are yet to get off the mark. The final game of the round saw Sanyo Electric Sumoto fall to a shock defeat at promoted side FC Kyoto 1993.

22 Apr 07 - FC Mi-o, fresh from hitting the top of the table

FC Mi-o, fresh from hitting the top of the table

Sat 21 Apr: AS Laranja Kyoto 1-0 Kobe FC 1970
Sat 21 Apr: FC Glaspo Kashiwara 0-4 Banditonce Kobe
Sat 21 Apr: FC Kyoto 1993 1-0 Sanyo Electric Sumoto

Sun 22 Apr: Ain Food 0-3 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu

1. Banditonce Kobe 6 (+9)
2. FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 6 (+7)
3. Sanyo Electric Sumoto 3 (+1)
4. Ain Food 3 (-1)
5. AS Laranja Kyoto 3 (-1)
6. FC Kyoto 3 (-4)
7. Kobe FC 1970 0 (-3)
8. FC Glaspo Kashiwara 0 (-8)
Kanto League Division 2
There are already clear leaders after just two rounds of the Kanto League Division 2 campaign, as pre-season favourites Furukawa Electrics Chiba underlined their status as the division's top side with a 2-1 win at Ome FC to add to their defeat last week of Kanagawa Teachers. Two points behind Furukawa are newly-promoted Yonoshukai and their Saitama neighbours Hanno Bruder, who shared the points in their match with a 2-2 draw.

But four teams now have a single point, suggesting that this could be a closely-fought league in 2007. Relegated MSDF Atsugi Marcus also drew 2-2 with former Ibaraki Prefectural League side Club Dragons, but it's Yamanashi's Nirasaki Astros who prop up the table on goal difference following their goalless encounter with Kanagawa Teachers.

Sun 22 Apr: Kanagawa Teachers 0-0 Nirasaki Astros
Sun 22 Apr: MSDF Atsugi Marcus 2-2 Club Dragons
Sun 22 Apr: Ome FC 1-2 Furukawa Electrics Chiba
Sun 22 Apr: Yonoshukai 2-2 Hanno Bruder

1. Furukawa Electrics Chiba 6 (+2)
2. Yonoshukai 4 (+1)
3. Hanno Bruder 4 (+1)
4. Ome FC 3 (+1)
5. MSDF Atsugi Marcus 1 (-1)
6. Club Dragons 1 (-1)
7. Kanagawa Teachers 1 (-1)
8. Nirasaki Astros 1 (-2)
Kanto League Division 1
Two rounds in to the 2007 Kanto League Division 1 season and there are only a pair of teams left with 100% records. Top of the early table on goal difference are Saitama SC, who added to their 1-0 win over Toshiba Fuchu last week with an excellent 3-0 triumph on Saturday at Toho Titanium. But hot on their heels are newly-promoted Tokyoites FC Machida Zelvia, who the following day overcame 2006 champions YSCC by the odd goal in five.

This leaves YSCC joint bottom of the table with Yaita SC, disappointing 2-0 losers to Toshiba Fuchu in what was already their second home loss of the new campaign. Bouncing back from their own defeat to Machida last weekend, however, came Saitama's Luminozo Sayama, thanks to a 2-1 win at Hitachi Tochigi Uva that leaves both sides in mid-table.

22 Apr 07 - Cheerleading in office clothes, Machida Zelvia-style

Cheerleading in office clothes, Machida Zelvia-style

Sat 21 Apr: Toho Titanium 0-3 Saitama SC

Sun 22 Apr: FC Machida Zelvia 3-2 YSCC
Sun 22 Apr: Hitachi Tochigi Uva 1-2 Luminozo Sayama
Sun 22 Apr: Yaita SC 0-2 Toshiba Fuchu

1. Saitama SC 6 (+4)
2. FC Machida Zelvia 6 (+2)
3. Hitachi Tochigi Uva 3 (+2)
4. Toshiba Fuchu 3 (+1)
5. = Luminozo Sayama 3 (-)
5. = Toho Titanium 3 (-)
7. YSCC 0 (-4)
8. Yaita SC 0 (-5)
JFL Weekend Scores
Tokai League 2006 champions FC Gifu hit top spot in the JFL after the round 7 fixtures over the weekend - and the Greens have a two-point advantage over their nearest rivals. Forwards Atsushi Katagiri and new signing Jorginho were both on target in a 3-0 win over Ryutsu Keizai University, while erstwhile leaders Tochigi SC needed a late Yoshiteru Yamashita effort to rescue a point from a 1-1 draw at home to Alo's Hokuriku.

But in second spot on goal difference now are Yokogawa Musashino, whose excellent start to the season continued on Saturday as they thrashed Sony Sendai 5-0 with a brace from Koji Murayama. The other Saturday fixture was at Sagawa Kyubin SC, who became the latest in a growing list of top sides to be held by improving JEF Reserves. Masayuki Okamura, Sagawa's ex-Montedio Yamagata captain, gave his side the lead on the quarter hour, only for JEF to level things up just before half time.

22 Apr 07 - Mitsubishi Mizushima line up with Sagawa Printing

Mitsubishi Mizushima line up with Sagawa Printing

Rosso Kumamoto are now back moving in the right direction after consecutive defeats, Yutaka Takahashi's 52nd-minute goal proving enough to see off lowly Arte Takasaki. The result of the round, however, was undoubtedly at Honda FC, where last year's championship winners were beaten by an FC Kariya team who had thus far failed to pick up so much as a single point in 2007. Experienced former Nagoya Grampus 8 man Hideyoshi Akita was Kariya's hero, with two goals in a sensational 3-1 triumph.

All the other three matches ended in draws, YKK AP surprisingly let slip an advantage to finish 1-1 at home to Gainare Tottori from along the Japan Sea coast. Daisuke Machinaka's 87th minute goal grabbed a potentially vital point for Sagawa Printing at Mitsubishi Mizushima and TDK SC twice going in front only to be pegged back by FC Ryukyu in the JFL's longest away trip.

22 Apr 07 - FC Gifu go for goal against RKU

FC Gifu go for goal against a panicky RKU

Sat 21 Apr: Sagawa Kyubin SC 1-1 JEF Reserves
Sat 21 Apr: Yokogawa Musashino 5-0 Sony Sendai

Sun 22 Apr: FC Gifu 3-0 Ryutsu Keizai University
Sun 22 Apr: Honda FC 1-3 FC Kariya
Sun 22 Apr: Mitsubishi Mizushima 1-1 Sagawa Printing
Sun 22 Apr: Rosso Kumamoto 1-0 Arte Takasaki
Sun 22 Apr: TDK SC 2-2 FC Ryukyu
Sun 22 Apr: Tochigi SC 1-1 Alo's Hokuriku
Sun 22 Apr: YKK AP 1-1 Gainare Tottori

1. FC Gifu 19 (+10)
2. Yokogawa Musashino 17 (+11)
3. Tochigi SC 17 (+10)
4. Sagawa Kyubin SC 16 (+12)
5. Rosso Kumamoto 15 (+7)
6. YKK AP 14 (+4)
7. Alo's Hokuriku 13 (+3)
8. Honda FC 10 (+2)
9. JEF Reserves 10 (+1)
10. TDK SC 7 (-3)
11. Mitsubishi Mizushima 7 (-4)
12. Gainare Tottori 6 (-3)
13. FC Ryukyu 5 (-11)
14. Ryutsu Keizai University 4 (-7)
15. Sagawa Printing 4 (-8)
16. Sony Sendai 4 (-8)
17. Arte Takasaki 4 (-9)
18. FC Kariya 3 (-7)
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