Japanese Non-league Football News

JFL Saturday Scores
There were five JFL fixtures on Saturday, the most notable outcome being the contrasting results achieved by the two Toyama-based teams. YKK AP's recent impressive displays have seen them rise to fourth in the table, but they nevertheless fell to a 3-1 defeat at Gainare Tottori after finding themselves two down after just five minutes of the match. In the meantime, neighbours Alo's Hokuriku have quietly been rising up the table via an impressive run of results based on a watertight defence - and their 1-0 win over Tochigi SC means that they haven't conceded a single goal in the last five games.

Koji Murayama's last-minute winner helped Yokogawa Musashino to come from a goal down and beat Sony Sendai to go fifth and remain above Alo's on goal difference. 2006 title winners Honda FC would appear to have put behind them their extremely disappointing early-season form. A comfortable 3-1 win at lowly FC Kariya was the Shizuoka club's third win in a row and equally good news is that last season's Player of the Year Junya Nitta is once more finding the net. And Sagawa Printing's win over Mitsubishi Mizushima means that they climb further away from the foot of the table.

16 Jul 07 - Splashing around, Gainare Tottori and YKK AP

Splashing around, Gainare Tottori and YKK AP

Sat 14 Jul: Alo's Hokuriku 1-0 Tochigi SC
Sat 14 Jul: FC Kariya 1-3 Honda FC
Sat 14 Jul: Gainare Tottori 3-1 YKK AP
Sat 14 Jul: Sagawa Printing 2-1 Mitsubishi Mizushima
Sat 14 Jul: Sony Sendai 2-3 Yokogawa Musashino

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 45 (+25)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 43 (+22)
3. FC Gifu 37 (+11)
4. YKK AP 35 (+9)
5. Yokogawa Musashino 34 (+10)
6. Alo's Hokuriku 34 (+2)
7. JEF Reserves 32 (+7)
8. Honda FC 30 (+7)
9. Tochigi SC 26 (+5)
10. Mitsubishi Mizushima 25 (-6)
11. Ryutsu Keizai University 24 (-2)
12. Gainare Tottori 24 (-3)
13. Sagawa Printing 23 (-10)
14. Sony Sendai 21 (-14)
15. TDK SC 20 (-7)
16. FC Kariya 17 (-11)
17. FC Ryukyu 16 (-21)
18. Arte Takasaki 5 (-24)

Miyagi's Cobaltore Aim For The Top
From Miyagi prefecture in the Tohoku region of northern Honshu comes news of yet another club currently in the lower reaches of Japan's footballing pyramid - but with their sights set on the J-League. Cobaltore Onagawa are riding high at the top of Division 1 of their prefectural league competition, despite the fact that their home town is a small and comparatively isolated coastal community of barely 10,000 people. Indeed, the football club acknowledge that one of the reasons why they were formed in early 2006 was with the intention of encouraging young people through football to remain living locally, as a means of countering the broad Japanese social issue of rural depopulation (their English-language slogan is "We create a new fun for a new active lifestyle").

Appointed as coach for Cobaltore's debut season was former Japan international midfield player Nobuo Fujishima, who spent a lengthy playing career in the pre-J-League JSL at the NKK company team and whose subsequent coaching career has included a number of years in charge of JFL outfit YKK AP. 2006 proved to be a successful start for the fledgling club, as they won every match of their Ishinomaki City League campaign before gaining promotion to the Prefectural League for 2007. Like many teams in a similar position across Japan, Cobaltore are aiming to reach the regional Tohoku League next year and the JFL by 2010 or 2011.
8th Eastern Japan Football Tournament

The fixture list has been made available for this weekend's 8th Eastern Japan Football Tournament, to be staged in the city of Kai in Yamanashi prefecture. There are six entrants, all fighting to inherit the title won last year by the representatives of the Tohoku region, TDK Akita, now better known as JFL side TDK SC:

Hokkaido: Norbritz Hokkaido
Hokushinetsu: Nagano Prefectural XI
Hosts: Yamanashi Prefectural XI
Kanto: Furukawa Electrics Chiba
Tohoku: Grulla Morioka
Tokai: Shizuoka FC

The fixtures are as follows:

Match Day 1

Sat 14 Jul: Match 1: Nagano Prefectural XI - Norbritz Hokkaido
Sat 14 Jul: Match 2: Shizuoka FC - Grulla Morioka

Match Day 2

Sun 15 Jul: Match 3: Yamanashi Prefectural XI - Winner, Match 1
Sun 15 Jul: Match 4: Furukawa Electrics Chiba - Winner, Match 2
Sun 15 Jul: 5th / 6th Place Play-off between the losers of Matches 1 & 2

Match Day 3

Mon 16 Jul: 3rd / 4th Place Play-off between the losers of Matches 3 & 4
Mon 16 Jul: Final between the winners of Matches 3 & 4
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