Japanese Non-league Football News

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Hokushinetsu League Division 1
This weekend was the mid-point of the Hokushinetsu League Division 1 season and a double-header of matches, with each of the teams playing on both Saturday and Sunday. And it was 2006 champions Japan Soccer College who emerged the major winners, as they grabbed six vital points by defeating relegation candidates Ueda Gentian and Niigata University of Management to go top of the table.

Previous leaders AC Nagano Parceiro on the other hand suffered perhaps the shock defeat of the year so far to stumble down into third place. After having come from behind to beat Fervorosa 3-2 in a nail-biting clash on Saturday, they sensationally lost by the same score to newly promoted side Valiente Toyama on Sunday. Matsumoto Yamaga Club move ahead of them into second, although it is clear that there is still everything to play for in this league.

The Ishikawa prefecture duo of Fervorosa and Zweigen Kanazawa cannot be dismissed from contention either, Fervorosa beating their rivals 2-1 in Sunday's derby game to hold on to fourth spot. At the bottom of the table, Valiente's tremendous win over Nagano means that they move out of the relegation zone, while NUM and Ueda now prop up the division.

26 May 07 - Fervorosa go for goal against AC Nagano Parceiro

Fervorosa go for goal against AC Nagano Parceiro

Sat 26 May: Fervorosa 2-3 AC Nagano Parceiro
Sat 26 May: Niigata University of Management 0-6 Matsumoto Yamaga Club
Sat 26 May: Ueda Gentian 0-4 Japan Soccer College
Sat 26 May: Valiente Toyama 0-2 Zweigen Kanazawa

Sun 27 May: Fervorosa 2-1 Zweigen Kanazawa
Sun 27 May: Niigata University of Management 0-1 Japan Soccer College
Sun 27 May: Ueda Gentian 0-1 Matsumoto Yamaga Club
Sun 27 May: Valiente Toyama 3-2 AC Nagano Parceiro

1. Japan Soccer College 19 (+14)
2. Matsumoto Yamaga Club 18 (+18)
3. AC Nagano Parceiro 16 (+11)
4. Fervorosa 15 (+12)
5. Zweigen Kanazawa 15 (+6)
6. Valiente Toyama 6 (-6)
7. Niigata University of Management 4 (-28)
8. Ueda Gentian 1 (-27)

26 May 07 - NUM’s photographer snaps a rare moment of success for his team against Yamaga

A rare moment of success for NUM vs Yamaga
JFL Weekend Scores
The gap between the JFL's top three teams and the rest now stands at eight points after round 13, with Sagawa Kyubin SC, FC Gifu and Rosso Kumamoto all notching up narrow wins to keep themselves well in front of the chasing pack. Leaders Sagawa were 2-0 up after only three minutes of their game with Yokogawa Musashino, but it was Sho Gokyu's 83rd-minute effort that was eventually to prove decisive for the new club based in Shiga, despite Yokogawa's two late goals.

Gifu meanwhile made it three 1-0 scorelines in a row, former Vissel Kobe midfielder Hiromi Kojima's single strike on the hour mark proving enough to take them past FC Kariya. And Rosso bounced back from their defeat to Gifu last weekend, coming from behind with two second half goals to win a tricky-looking fixture at YKK AP 2-1. Almost inevitably, Yutaka Takahashi was on target with his thirteenth goal of the season for Rosso.

27 May 07 - All quiet before RKU’s win over Arte Takasaki

All quiet before RKU’s win over Arte Takasaki

There has emerged a group of five or so second tier teams in the division, all capable of good results on their day but seemingly lacking the consistency of the genuine top clubs. Tochigi SC and Honda FC fall into this category and they played each other in Hamamatsu, Tochigi twice letting slip the lead as Ryosuke Horikiri - the 2006 JFL Rookie of the Year - grabbed a last-minute equaliser for Honda. Tochigi might have just two points from their last four matches, but they nevertheless move up into fourth place following the 2-2 draw.

Alo's Hokuriku are another side on the distant fringes of the title race and they too needed a late Kazuma Matsushita goal for a 2-2 draw at a TDK SC side who are giving an excellent account of themselves following their promotion from the Tohoku League. They are comfortably in mid-table, battling it out with the likes of JEF Reserves to try and claim a place in the top half of the league. The latest manifestation of JEF's consistent inconsistency, if it can be described like that, came in the form of scoring twice in the last five minutes for a 3-3 draw at lowly FC Ryukyu.

Indeed Ryukyu are now in the bottom three, where they are joined by Arte Takasaki and Sony Sendai. Arte score only their fourth goal of the season but still lost 3-1 at Ryutsu Keizai University to remain dead last; Sony, on the other hand, managed their first away win of the season at the expense of Mitsubishi Mizushima. In Saturday's single game, Sagawa Printing gained an excellent 2-1 win at Gainare Tottori to move away from the danger zone, the decisive goal coming 17 minutes before the end from striker Shintaro Hirai.

27 May 07 - All that energy, but Gainare still lose to Sagawa Printing

All that energy, but Gainare still lose to Sagawa Printing

Sat 26 May: Gainare Tottori 1-2 Sagawa Printing

Sun 27 May: FC Gifu 1-0 FC Kariya
Sun 27 May: FC Ryukyu 3-3 JEF Reserves
Sun 27 May: Honda FC 2-2 Tochigi SC
Sun 27 May: Mitsubishi Mizushima 0-1 Sony Sendai
Sun 27 May: Ryutsu Keizai University 3-1 Arte Takasaki
Sun 27 May: Sagawa Kyubin SC 4-3 Yokogawa Musashino
Sun 27 May: TDK SC 2-2 Alo's Hokuriku
Sun 27 May: YKK AP 1-2 Rosso Kumamoto

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 34 (+24)
2. FC Gifu 32 (+12)
3. Rosso Kumamoto 30 (+14)
4. Tochigi SC 22 (+8)
5. Yokogawa Musashino 21 (+8)
6. YKK AP 21 (+6)
7. Honda FC 20 (+4)
8. Alo's Hokuriku 20 (-2)
9. JEF Reserves 18 (+1)
10. TDK SC 18 (-1)
11. Ryutsu Keizai University 16 (-2)
12. Gainare Tottori 14 (-4)
13. FC Kariya 13 (-5)
14. Mitsubishi Mizushima 13 (-5)
15. Sagawa Printing 13 (-9)
16. FC Ryukyu 10 (-13)
17. Sony Sendai 8 (-18)
18. Arte Takasaki 4 (-18)

27 May 07 - Close control between Alo’s Hokuriku and TDK

Close control between Alo’s Hokuriku and TDK
Kansai League Division 2
It was Takada FC whose nerve finally cracked in the race for the Kansai League Division 2 title. All season long, they have been neck and neck at the top with newcomers Hannan University - but on Saturday they could only draw with Kyoto Shiko Club, while Hannan were cruising to a 5-1 win at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe.

Shiko and Mitsubishi are fighting things out in mid-table along with Kohga School - 2-1 winners over struggling Hermano Osaka - and Riseisha FC, who beat Kihoku Football Group 4-3. This leaves Kihoku yet to get off the mark after seven matches of the season and looking odds-on for the automatic relegation place, while Hermano are in danger of having to play off to remain in the Kansai League next season.

26 May 07 - Kihoku tussle unsuccessfully with Riseisha

Kihoku tussle unsuccessfully with Riseisha

Sat 26 May: Hermano Osaka 1-2 Kohga School
Sat 26 May: Kihoku Football Group 3-4 Riseisha FC
Sat 26 May: Kyoto Shiko Club 1-1 Takada FC
Sat 26 May: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 1-5 Hannan University Club

1. Hannan University 19 (+20)
2. Takada FC 17 (+12)
3. Riseisha FC 10 (-)
4. Kohga School 10 (-5)
5. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 10 (-5)
6. Kyoto Shiko Club 9 (+3)
7. Hermano Osaka 4 (-10)
8. Kihoku Football Group 0 (-15)
Kansai League Division 1
The Kansai League Division 1 season for 2007 reached the halfway point with a full set of fixtures on Saturday - and the clash that all local fans had been looking forward to seeing. Reigning champions Banditonce Kobe took on league leaders FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu and a goal in each half not only gave Banditonce a 2-0 win but also put them back on top of the table on goal difference, a position they have not occupied since their shock home defeat to Ain Food in round 3.

Two points behind, Ain Food themselves remain the only team in touch with the frontrunners after they narrowly defeated Sanyo Electric Sumoto. The other two games were a mid-table encounter that saw AS Laranja Kyoto get the better of their neighbours FC Kyoto 1993; and a draw between likely relegation candidates Kobe FC 1970 and FC Glaspo Kashiwara, which in all likelihood probably helps neither of them.

Sat 26 May: Ain Food 1-0 Sanyo Electric Sumoto
Sat 26 May: AS Laranja Kyoto 2-1 FC Kyoto 1993
Sat 26 May: Banditonce Kobe 2-0 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu
Sat 26 May: Kobe FC 1970 1-1 FC Glaspo Kashiwara

1. Banditonce Kobe 18 (+24)
2. FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 18 (+23)
3. Ain Food 16 (+3)
4. FC Kyoto 1993 9 (-4)
5. AS Laranja Kyoto 9 (-8)
6. Sanyo Electric Sumoto 6 (-12)
7. Kobe FC 1970 4 (-12)
8. FC Glaspo Kashiwara 2 (-14)
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