Japanese Non-league Football News

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Hokushinetsu League Division 2
The topsy-turvy season in Division 2 of the Hokushinetsu League levelled out somewhat on Sunday, although seemingly any team is capable of taking points from any of their rivals. The unfortunate exception to this rule are Toyama Shinjo Club, who like their neighbours Valiente Toyama in Division 1 are having a wretched campaign. A 5-1 home defeat to Ohara School JaSRA means that Shinjo have yet to gain a point all season and they are therefore rooted to the foot of the table.

But the top three teams did actually manage to win all their matches, Saurcos Fukui retaining pole position with a 3-1 win over Maruoka Phoenix. Hot on their heels, though, are both FC Antelope Shiojiri and Teihens FC, who both chalked up away victories at CUPS Niigata and Granscena Niigata respectively. It could be that the two promotion places will come down to a fight between that trio.

14 May 07 - Granscena Niigata and Teihens go head to head

Granscena Niigata and Teihens go head to head

Sun 13 May: CUPS Niigata 1-2 FC Antelope Shiojiri
Sun 13 May: Granscena Niigata 2-3 Teihens FC
Sun 13 May: Saurcos Fukui 3-1 Maruoka Phoenix
Sun 13 May: Toyama Shinjo Club 1-5 Ohara School JaSRA

1. Saurcos Fukui 12 (+7)
2. FC Antelope Shiojiri 11 (+3)
3. Teihens FC 10 (+7)
4. Ohara School JaSRA 7 (+2)
5. Maruoka Phoenix 6 (-)
6. Granscena Niigata 6 (+1)
7. CUPS Niigata 6 (-4)
8. Toyama Shinjo Club 0 (-16)

14 May 07 - Flag confusion at CUPS Niigata

Flag confusion at CUPS Niigata
Hokushinetsu League Division 1
Matsumoto Yamaga Club closed the gap at the top of the Hokushinetsu League Division 1 to just one a point on Sunday, thanks to a 3-2 win at Zweigen Kanazawa. Masato Katayama was once again the hero for Matsumoto with two goals, while leaders AC Nagano Parceiro let slip a 2-0 lead to draw with Japan Soccer College - the first time that they have dropped points so far this season.

With champions JSC holding onto third place in a very tight division, moving into the top half of the table are Ishikawa prefecture's Fervorosa, 6-2 winners over struggling Ueda Gentian. And Niigata University of Management climbed out of the relegation places with a potentially vital defeat of Valiente Toyama, who seem to be unable to compete at the higher level following promotion at the end of last season.

14 May 07 - Introducing, from Ishikawa prefecture, Fervorosa

Introducing, from Ishikawa prefecture, Fervorosa

Sun 13 May: AC Nagano Parceiro 2-2 Japan Soccer College
Sun 13 May: Niigata University of Management 2-1 Valiente Toyama
Sun 13 May: Ueda Gentian 2-6 Fervorosa
Sun 13 May: Zweigen Kanazawa 2-3 Matsumoto Yamaga Club

1. AC Nagano Parceiro 13 (+13)
2. Matsumoto Yamaga Club 12 (+12)
3. Japan Soccer College 10 (+8)
4. Fervorosa 9 (+5)
5. Zweigen Kanazawa 9 (+3)
6. Niigata University of Management 4 (-14)
7. Ueda Gentian 1 (-13)
8. Valiente Toyama 0 (-14)

14 May 07 - They might well be Zweigen, but they still lost

They might well be Zweigen, but they still lost
Hokkaido League
Sunday's opening fixtures in this season's Hokkaido League were in general close-fought encounters, with last season's strugglers Tokachifairsky Genesis and newly-promoted side Hokushukai both obtaining good draws against Blackpecker Hakodate and Sapporo FC respectively. Sapporo Winds, who together with Hokushukai move up from the so-called Block Leagues that form the second tier of football on the island, went even better and pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Barefoot Hokkaido. But Norbritz Hokkaido, aiming for their fifth straight league title, were quickest off the mark thanks to a 3-1 defeat of Toyota Motors Hokkaido.

14 May 07 - The traditional excellent view of Norbritz Hokkaido

The traditional excellent view of Norbritz Hokkaido

Sun 13 May: Blackpecker Hakodate 1-1 Tokachifairsky Genesis
Sun 13 May: Hokushukai 1-1 Sapporo FC
Sun 13 May: Norbritz Hokkaido 3-1 Toyota Motors Hokkaido
Sun 13 May: Sapporo Winds 2-1 Barefoot Hokkaido

13 May 07 - Look, it’s Blackpecker Hakodate, against Tokachifairsky

Look, it’s Blackpecker Hakodate, against Tokachifairsky
Chugoku League
Just a matter of days after having been given a rough ride here on JNFN for their poor results so far this season, Renofa Yamaguchi have blown a huge hole in the Chugoku League title hopes of FC Central Chugoku. Renofa came from a goal down at half-time on Sunday to claim an excellent 2-1 win over the ambitious Shimane outfit. Combine this result with a sixth straight victory for champions and favourites Fagiano Okayama - who defeated the other main contenders, Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku - and there is all of a sudden a six-point gap at the top between Fagiano and FC Central.

But there was action aplenty elsewhere, too, as both Mazda SC and Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado picked up their first wins of the year. Promoted side Mazda overcame JFE Steel Western Japan, while Yamaguchi-based Kasado squeezed past a Hiroshima Fujita SC side whose decline from last season seems to be continuing. Luckily for all concerned, however, there is to be no relegation from the Chugoku League at the end of 2007, as the competition is to be expanded to ten teams next season.

14 May 07 - Renofa Yamaguchi in orange scrap it out with FC Central

Renofa Yamaguchi in orange scrap it out with FC Central

Sun 13 May: Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 1-0 Hiroshima Fujita SC
Sun 13 May: Mazda SC 2-0 JFE Steel Western Japan
Sun 13 May: Renofa Yamaguchi 2-1 FC Central Chugoku
Sun 13 May: Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 0-1 Fagiano Okayama

1. Fagiano Okayama 18 (+25)
2. FC Central Chugoku 12 (+9)
3. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 9 (+11)
4. Renofa Yamaguchi 8 (-4)
5. JFE Steel Western Japan 6 (-11)
6. Hiroshima Fujita SC 4 (-5)
7. Mazda SC 4 (-10)
8. Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 3 (-15)

14 May 07 - A sunny day for Sagawa Kyubin and Fagiano Okayama

A sunny day for Sagawa Kyubin and Fagiano Okayama
JFL Sunday Scores
It was business as usual in round 11 of the JFL on Sunday, with frontrunning trio Sagawa Kyubin SC, Rosso Kumamoto and FC Gifu all picking up wins in their matches. But how they achieved those victories was rather different and may provide some clue as to what will happen in the rest of the season. High-scoring Sagawa Kyubin put another four without reply past Alo's Hokuriku, Sho Gokyu grabbing two to bring his tally for the year to nine.

Things were nevertheless a bit tougher for Gifu and Rosso, the latter of whom trailed twice to Yokogawa Musashino - only for star striker Yutaka Takahashi to chip in with his usual pair of goals, including the winner three minutes from time. Gifu, meanwhile, overcame lowly FC Ryukyu only thanks to a 32nd-minute striker from former Kashiwa Reysol defender Kota Fukatsu. This means that there is now a five-point gap between Gifu in third and the next best teams, YKK AP and Tochigi SC.

14 May 07 - Hisatomo Kaneko, on target for Sony Sendai

Hisatomo Kaneko, on target for Sony Sendai...

In fact, YKK and Tochigi were matched up against each other, the Toyama-based YKK taking a 2-0 lead by half-time only to be pegged back by two goals in the last twelve minutes by Tochigi midfield man Masamitsu Kobayashi. But most of the other key action took place at the other end of the table. Arte Takasaki conceded two second half goals at TDK SC and now lie rock bottom, having scored just twice all season.

Sony Sendai at last broke their disastrous run of seven consecutive defeats with a creditable draw at Honda FC, while there were valuable away wins for FC Kariya at Sagawa Printing and Gainare Tottori at Mitsubishi Mizushima. Ryutsu Keizai University made it three wins in four matches with the 1-0 defeat of the ever-unpredictable JEF Reserves.

14 May 07 - ... and YKK AP scorer Sho Kitano

... and YKK AP scorer Sho Kitano

Sun 13 May: FC Gifu 1-0 FC Ryukyu
Sun 13 May: Honda FC 2-2 Sony Sendai
Sun 13 May: Mitsubishi Mizushima 0-2 Gainare Tottori
Sun 13 May: Rosso Kumamoto 3-2 Yokogawa Musashino
Sun 13 May: Ryutsu Keizai University 1-0 JEF Reserves
Sun 13 May: Sagawa Kyubin SC 4-0 Alo's Hokuriku
Sun 13 May: Sagawa Printing 0-1 FC Kariya
Sun 13 May: TDK SC 2-0 Arte Takasaki
Sun 13 May: YKK AP 2-2 Tochigi SC

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 28 (+22)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 27 (+14)
3. FC Gifu 26 (+8)
4. YKK AP 21 (+9)
5. Tochigi SC 21 (+9)
6. Alo's Hokuriku 19 (-1)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 18 (+7)
8. Honda FC 16 (+3)
9. JEF Reserves 14 (-)
10. TDK SC 14 (-3)
11. Ryutsu Keizai University 13 (-3)
12. FC Kariya 12 (-4)
13. Gainare Tottori 11 (-4)
14. Mitsubishi Mizushima 10 (-6)
15. Sagawa Printing 10 (-9)
16. FC Ryukyu 8 (-13)
17. Sony Sendai 5 (-17)
18. Arte Takasaki 4 (-14)

14 May 07 - Mitsubishi Mizushima go for goal in their defeat to Gainare Tottori

Mitsubishi Mizushima go for goal in their defeat to Gainare Tottori
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