Japanese Non-league Football News

Tokai League Division 2
The promotion of FC Gifu and collapse of ACM Central means that no teams were relegated to the Tokai League Division 2 at the end of last season - so the two new names are of clubs moving up from the Prefectural Leagues. While Toyota Football Group, from Aichi, have extensive experience as lower-ranking members of the league, all the attention has been on ambitious MIE Rampole, who are making their first ever appearance at Regional level. And MIE began well, defeating the Shizuoka teachers' team Fuyo Club 2-0, while Toyota lost 1-0 at Nagoya Club. The two teams that finished bottom of the division in 2006, Morishin's FC and FC Kawasaki, both lost their opening fixtures, against Konica Minolta Toyokawa and the re-named Mind House Yokkaichi respectively.

Sun 13 May: Fuyo Club 0-2 MIE Rampole
Sun 13 May: Konica Minolta Toyokawa 6-1 Morishin's FC
Sun 13 May: Mind House Yokkaichi 1-0 FC Kawasaki
Sun 13 May: Nagoya Club 1-0 Toyota Football Group

Tokai League Division 1
It was the first round of matches in the Tokai League over the weekend and Division 1 is likely to be more competitive this year than last, following the promotion to the JFL of FC Gifu. Favourites Shizuoka FC got off to a good start on Saturday with a 5-0 defeat of promoted side Honda Suzuka - but the club that could potentially be their nearest challengers, Yazaki Valente, also racked up the goals by beating Kasugai Club 4-2. Fujieda City Hall gained a good 2-1 win at Maruyasu Industries and in the derby match, Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo overcame Chukyo University 1-0.

Sat 12 May: Shizuoka FC 5-0 Honda Suzuka

Sun 13 May: Maruyasu Industries 1-2 Fujieda City Hall
Sun 13 May: Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo 1-0 Chukyo University
Sun 13 May: Yazaki Valente 4-2 Kasugai Club
Tohoku League Division 2 (South)
After Sunday's matches, Division 2 (South) of the Tohoku League is still shaping up to be a two-horse race between Viancone Fukushima and neighbours FC Perada Fukushima, with Viancone siezing the advantage on goal difference thanks to a 9-0 drubbing of Kanai Club. FC Perada beat newly-promoted side Nakaniida FC 4-1, which nevertheless keeps them in second position ahead of Soma SC. Soma, who have made the move up from the Fukushima Prefectural league, have started very impressively and defeated Shichigahama SC 3-1 in their second fixture. Marysol Matsushima are fourth after a 2-0 win over whipping boys Kureha.

Sun 13 May: Kureha 0-2 Marysol Matsushima
Sun 13 May: Nakaniida SC 1-4 FC Perada Fukushima
Sun 13 May: Soma SC 3-1 Shichigahama SC
Sun 13 May: Viancone Fukushima 9-0 Kanai Club

1. Viancone Fukushima 7 (+14)
2. FC Perada Fukushima 7 (+7)
3. Soma SC 6 (+6)
4. Marysol Matsushima 4 (+2)
5. Kanai Club 3 (-7)
6. Nakaniida SC 1 (-8)
7. Shichigahama SC 0 (-6)
8. Kureha 0 (-8)
Tohoku League Division 2 (North)
FC Akita Cambiare have immediately taken up their familiar position at the top of the Tohoku League Division 2 (North), a 6-2 triumph over Hokuto Bank making it three wins out of three for the promotion hopefuls. The rest of the division seems unlikely to be able to turn up any consistent challenger, although Tono Club played their first match of the year and beat Mizusawa United Club 2-1. The shock of the day was at Aomori's Vanraure Hachinohe, where Regional League newcomers Saruta Industry ran out 5-1 winners.

Sun 13 May: Hokuto Bank 2-6 FC Akita Cambiare
Sun 13 May: Tono Club 2-1 Mizusawa United Club
Sun 13 May: Vanraure Hachinohe 1-5 Saruta Industry

1. FC Akita Cambiare 9 (+12)
2. Fuji Club 2003 3 (+2)
3. Saruta Industry 3 (+1)
4. Tono Club 3 (+1)
5. Hokuto Bank 3 (-2)
6. Mizusawa United Club 1 (-1)
7. Vanraure Hachinohe 1 (-6)
8. Omiya Club 0 (-7)
Tohoku League Division 1
The uneven nature of the scheduling in the Tohoku League is having an immediate impact upon the Division 1 table at present; for current leaders NEC Tokin were winning their third match of the year on Sunday against FC Primeiro, while favourites Grulla Morioka have still played only once. Nevertheless, Furukawa Battery picked up a first win following promotion at the expense of Sendai Nakata Club, and Wiese Shiogama overcame last season's wooden spooners Nippon Steel Kamaishi.

14 May 07 - Furukawa Battery go wild after their goal against Sendai Nakata

Furukawa Battery go wild after their goal against Sendai Nakata

Sun 13 May: Furukawa Battery 1-0 Sendai Nakata Club
Sun 13 May: NEC Tokin 2-1 FC Primeiro
Sun 13 May: Wiese Shiogama 2-1 Nippon Steel Kamaishi

1. NEC Tokin 9 (+5)
2. Wiese Shiogama 6 (+2)
3. Grulla Morioka 3 (+3)
4. = FC Primeiro 3 (-)
4. = Morioka Zebra 3 (-)
4. = Furukawa Battery 3 (-)
7. Sendai Nakata Club 0 (-3)
8. Nippon Steel Kamaishi 0 (-7)

14 May 07 - The NEC Tokin 2007 squad

The NEC Tokin 2007 squad
Shikoku League
There were a lot of goals flying around in round five of the Shikoku League on Sunday - but from the perspective of Kamatamare Sanuki, they didn't score enough of them. It would seem very possible that this league will be decided on goal difference this year and a 2-0 win for the 2006 champions against Sanyo Electric Tokushima is, under the circumstances, not really good enough. Their nearest rivals, Tokushima Vortis Amateur, put eight past Ventana AC and are top as a consequence.

Just a point behind Kamatamare and Vortis are Nangoku Kochi, 3-0 winners at an Ehime Shimanami who are undergoing a disappointing 2007. In fact, they remain just three points above the relegation play-off places, an unfamiliar position for a team that has in the last few years performed consistently well. The aforementioned Ventana, on the other hand, are traditional strugglers - and so are Tokushima Comprille SC and Sanwa Club, who met on Sunday, Comprille picking up their first win of the campaign to the tune of 6-3.

14 May 07 - Tokushima Vortis Amateur outjump and outplay Ventana AC

Tokushima Vortis Amateur outjump and outplay Ventana AC

Sun 13 May: Ehime Shimanami 0-3 Nangoku Kochi
Sun 13 May: Sanwa Club 3-6 Tokushima Comprille SC
Sun 13 May: Sanyo Electric Tokushima 0-2 Kamatamare Sanuki
Sun 13 May: Tokushima Vortis Amateur 8-0 Ventana AC

1. Tokushima Vortis Amateur 13 (+21)
2. Kamatamare Sanuki 13 (+15)
3. Nangoku Kochi 12 (+13)
4. Sanyo Electric Tokushima 9 (+2)
5. Ehime Shimanami 6 (-4)
6. Tokushima Comprille SC 3 (-13)
7. Ventana AC 3 (-16)
8. Sanwa Club 0 (-18)
Kyushu League
There was a dramatic weekend of action in the Kyushu League and the season is shaping up to be as close and exciting as anticipated. Previous leaders Nippon Steel Oita lost for the first time, crashing 3-0 at home to New Wave Kitakyushu. Yudai Nakashima was the star performer for New Wave, netting a hat-trick that arguably moves his side back into contention. Nippon Steel, however, drop two places to third thanks to wins for V Varen Nagasaki against Volca Kagoshima and Honda Lock at home to Okinawa Kariyushi.

At the bottom of the table, Nanakuma Tombies were the team without a fixture this round and they are now firmly stuck in last place. The Fukuoka University students' team find themselves four points behind Osumi NIFS United, who won for the first time in 2007 against Kumamoto Teachers. In the fifth game of the day, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki moved into the top half with a straightforward 3-0 defeat of Kaiho Bank SC that increases their chances of avoiding a relegation battle.

14 May 07 - Kaiho Bank clash with Mitsubishi Nagasaki

Kaiho Bank clash with Mitsubishi Nagasaki

Sun 13 May: Honda Lock 2-1 Okinawa Kariyushi
Sun 13 May: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 3-0 Kaiho Bank SC
Sun 13 May: Nippon Steel Oita 0-3 New Wave Kitakyushu
Sun 13 May: Osumi NIFS United 2-0 Kumamoto Teachers
Sun 13 May: V Varen Nagasaki 5-0 Volca Kagoshima

1. V Varen Nagasaki 18 (+32)
2. Honda Lock 18 (+23)
3. Nippon Steel Oita 17 (+10)
4. New Wave Kitakyushu 15 (+12)
5. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki 9 (-10)
6. Volca Kagoshima 6 (-2)
7. Okinawa Kariyushi 6 (-3)
8. Kumamoto Teachers 6 (-11)
9. Kaiho Bank SC 6 (-16)
10. Osumi NIFS United 4 (-14)
11. Nanakuma Tombies 0 (-21)

14 May 07 - Nippon Steel in grey, given the runaround by New Wave

Nippon Steel in grey, given the runaround by New Wave
Kanto League Division 2
While FC Machida Zelvia are dominating Division 1, the Kanto League Division 2 season is turning out to be a far more open contest. Erstwhile leaders Furukawa Electrics Chiba slipped up on Sunday, requiring a late goal to sneak a 1-1 draw at Hanno Bruder, while relegated side MSDF Atsugi Marcus go top in their place as they easily beat Nirasaki Astros 4-1.

Club Dragons, who in 2006 were playing Prefectural League football, could have stolen the lead themselves but conceded three times in five minutes just after half time in their match with Kanagawa Teachers and ended up losing 3-2. But the most astonishing fixture of the round was at Ome FC, were newcomers Yonoshukonkai from Saitama were 5-3 up at the break and scored four more times without reply. Striker Daiki Tani was undoubtedly the hero, scoring an amazing seven times.

14 May 07 - Yonoshukonkai, with Daiki Tani second left on the front row

Yonoshukonkai, with Daiki Tani second left on the front row

Sat 12 May: Kanagawa Teachers 3-2 Club Dragons

Sun 13 May: Hanno Bruder 1-1 Furukawa Electrics Chiba
Sun 13 May: Nirasaki Astros 1-4 MSDF Atsugi Marcus
Sun 13 May: Ome FC 3-9 Yonoshukonkai

1. MSDF Atsugi Marcus 10 (+6)
2. Furukawa Electrics Chiba 10 (+1)
3. Club Dragons 7 (+9)
4. Yonoshukonkai 7 (+5)
5. Kanagawa Teachers 7 (-1)
6. Hanno Bruder 6 (-)
7. Ome FC 4 (-7)
8. Nirasaki Astros 4 (-13)
Kanto League Division 1
Former Matsumoto Yamaga Club striker Kazuto Ishido was twice on target for FC Machida Zelvia on Saturday, as the 2006 Division 2 champions continue to take Division 1 of the Kanto League by storm. The 3-1 defeat of Toho Titanium means that Machida keep going their perfect start to the campaign five matches in. They also remain three points ahead of Hitachi Tochigi Uva, who scored two late goals to beat Toshiba Fuchu.

Saitama SC ensured that the miserable start to the season being experienced by last year's champions YSCC goes on, like Uva coming from behind to record a 2-1 win. But scoring their first point of the year were Yaita SC in a goalless draw at Luminozo Sayama, the former big guns who with the arrival in the dividion of Machida seem to be slipping further and further off the pace.

14 May 07 - Toho Titanium defend against league leaders Machida Zelvia

Toho Titanium defend against league leaders Machida Zelvia

Sat 12 May: Toho Titanium 1-3 FC Machida Zelvia

Sun 13 May: Luminozo Sayama 0-0 Yaita SC
Sun 13 May: Saitama SC 2-1 YSCC
Sun 13 May: Toshiba Fuchu 1-2 Hitachi Tochigi Uva

1. FC Machida Zelvia 15 (+11)
2. Hitachi Tochigi Uva 12 (+11)
3. Toho Titanium 9 (-)
4. Saitama SC 9 (-1)
5. Luminozo Sayama 7 (-)
6. Toshiba Fuchu 3 (-2)
7. YSCC 3 (-5)
8. Yaita SC 1 (-14)
Kansai League Division 2
Hannan University and Takada FC march on at the top of the Kansai League Division 2, with both clubs retaining their 100% starts to the year after round five over the weekend. The Osaka students from Hannan were losing 2-1 at half-time against the current bottom-place side Kihoku Football Group, but recovered to win 4-2, while Takada had a comfortable 3-0 victory over Hermano Osaka.

Remarkably, there is already an eight-point gap between Takada in second and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe in third, with the mid-ranking teams taking points off each other. It is already difficult to see anyone troubling the frontrunners for promotion, especially after Mitsubishi's 2-0 defeat at Kohga School. Riseisha FC managed their first win of the season at Kyoto Shiko Club to move out of the relegation zone.

Sat 12 May: Kohga School 2-0 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe

Sun 13 May: Kihoku Football Group 2-4 Hannan University Club
Sun 13 May: Kyoto Shiko Club 1-2 Riseisha FC
Sun 13 May: Takada FC 3-0 Hermano Osaka

1. Hannan University 15 (+16)
2. Takada FC 15 (+12)
3. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 7 (-2)
4. Kohga School 7 (-4)
5. Kyoto Shiko Club 5 (-)
6. Riseisha FC 4 (-3)
7. Hermano Osaka 4 (-6)
8. Kihoku Football Group 0 (-13)
Kansai League Division 1
Continuing their excellent start to the season in Division 1 of the Kansai League are last year's runners up FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu. They made it five wins out of five on Saturday, beating Kobe FC 1970 3-1 thanks to two goals in the last thirteen minutes. Banditonce Kobe remain three points behind after a 5-0 thrashing of Sanyo Electric Sumoto in which Takashi Matsuda scored twice and Tooru Sato once, meaning that the strikers are both at the top of the divisional scoring chart with five goals apiece.

Sanyo now occupy one of the two relegation spots, the other team being FC Glaspo Kashiwara. They were 2-0 up against AS Laranja Kyoto, both goals coming from their own star striker Takahiro Okazaki, but midway through the second half the visitors took control and eventually ran out 6-3 winners. In the other game, Ain Food beat FC Kyoto 1993 1-0 to go into third place.

14 May 07 - None other than Glaspo Kashiwara’s Takahiro Okazaki

None other than Glaspo Kashiwara’s Takahiro Okazaki

Sat 12 May: Ain Food 1-0 FC Kyoto 1993
Sat 12 May: FC Glaspo Kashiwara 3-6 AS Laranja Kyoto
Sat 12 May: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 3-1 Kobe FC 1970

Sun 13 May: Banditonce Kobe 5-0 Sanyo Electric Sumoto

1. FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 15 (+22)
2. Banditonce Kobe 12 (+17)
3. Ain Food 10 (+1)
4. FC Kyoto 1993 9 (-)
5. AS Laranja Kyoto 6 (-8)
6. Kobe FC 1970 3 (-7)
7. Sanyo Electric Sumoto 3 (-13)
8. FC Glaspo Kashiwara 1 (-12)

14 May 07 - A very small picture of FC Kyoto 1993

A very small picture of FC Kyoto 1993
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