Japanese Non-league Football News

Kanto League Division 1
After a month's break, the Kanto League Division 1 season recommenced over the weekend - and FC Machida Zelvia were able to confirm what local fans have been predicting since the beginning of the season, namely that they are indeed Kanto League champions for 2007. A 5-0 win at relegation-threatened Yaita SC gave the title to Machida, whose rise from the Tokyo Prefectural League of 2005 has been rapid indeed. With three games remaining, they are ten points clear of Hitachi Tochigi Uva, 1-0 winners over Saitama SC - although Uva's nearest challengers are a Toho Titanium side who had a mixed start to the year, but are now unbeaten in five games following a 2-0 defeat of Luminozo Sayama. Last year's champions YSCC meanwhile did their fight against relegation the world of good by beating rivals Toshiba Fuchu 1-0.

24 Jul 07 - The Machida Zelvia hardcore faithful prepare themselves

The Machida Zelvia hardcore faithful prepare themselves

Sat 21 Jul: Luminozo Sayama 0-2 Toho Titanium
Sat 21 Jul: Saitama SC 0-1 Hitachi Tochigi Uva

Sun 22 Jul: Yaita SC 0-5 FC Machida Zelvia
Sun 22 Jul: YSCC 1-0 Toshiba Fuchu

1. FC Machida Zelvia 31 (+24)
2. Hitachi Tochigi Uva 21 (+12)
3. Toho Titanium 18 (-)
4. Luminozo Sayama 17 (-3)
5. Saitama SC 14 (-3)
6. YSCC 10 (-6)
7. Toshiba Fuchu 8 (-4)
8. Yaita SC 6 (-20)

Kansai League Division 2
Kansai League Division 2 winners Hannan University rounded off their first-ever Regional League season in style, crushing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 8-1 in the last game of the year on Sunday. Going up to Division 1 alongside them will be Takada FC, who have spent just a single season in the lower tier and confirmed their return to the top flight by beating Kyoto Shiko Club. Definitely relegated are Kihoku Football Group, although they avoided the humiliation of losing every single match of the season in quite astonishing style, picking up their solitary point in a 5-5 draw at Riseisha Club. In the relegation play-off position are Hermano Osaka, 3-1 losers at third place Kohga School.

24 Jul 07 - Division 2 winners Hannan University

Division 2 winners Hannan University

Sun 22 Jul: Hannan University 8-1 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe
Sun 22 Jul: Kohga School 3-1 Hermano Osaka
Sun 22 Jul: Riseisha FC 5-5 Kihoku Football Group
Sun 22 Jul: Takada FC 3-0 Kyoto Shiko Club

1. Hannan University 36 (+52)
2. Takada FC 29 (+19)
3. Kohga School 23 (+7)
4. Kyoto Shiko Club 20 (+8)
5. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe 18 (-5)
6. Riseisha FC 17 (-8)
7. Hermano Osaka 11 (-19)
8. Kihoku Football Group 1 (-44)
Kansai League Division 1
2006 champions Banditonce Kobe rounded off the 2007 season in style, confirming the fact that they retained the title with a 2-0 win on the final day of the campaign at FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu. FC Mi-o have provided Banditonce with their closest challenge but have finished off the year a disappointing seven points off the pace, although in all probability both teams will compete in the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off for a place in the JFL.

FC Glaspo Kashiwara's relegation has been a certainty for some time and the Osaka side concluded what has been a very difficult year by losing 4-3 at home to the side who will join them in Division 2 in 2008, Kobe FC 1970. Sanyo Electric Sumoto avoided the drop with a 1-0 win over Ain Food, while mid-table local rivals FC Kyoto 1993 and AS Laranja Kyoto ended the season with a low-key goalless draw.

24 Jul 07 - Banditonce goalscorer and jailbird Kanji Nishimura

Banditonce goalscorer and jailbird Kanji Nishimura

Sun 22 Jul: FC Glaspo Kashiwara 3-4 Kobe FC 1970
Sun 22 Jul: FC Kyoto 1993 0-0 AS Laranja Kyoto
Sun 22 Jul: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 0-2 Banditonce Kobe
Sun 22 Jul: Sanyo Electric Sumoto 1-0 Ain Food

1. Banditonce Kobe 39 (+46)
2. FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 32 (+37)
3. Ain Food 24 (-)
4. AS Laranja Kyoto 20 (-12)
5. FC Kyoto 1993 17 (-3)
6. Sanyo Electric Sumoto 15 (-22)
7. Kobe FC 1970 13 (-14)
8. FC Glaspo Kashiwara 2 (-32)
JFL Sunday Scores
After conceding twelve goals in their last two JFL matches, supporters of FC Ryukyu could have been forgiven for fearing the worst ahead of Sunday's game, even though their opponents were out-of-form Mitsubishi Mizushima. And sure enough, the former Chugoku Leaguers added a further three goals to Ryukyu's Goals Against column - but remarkably, scores from defender Teruo Hamada and new signing Tatsuya Kamohara in the last three minutes gave the struggling Okinawans a vital confidence-boosting 4-3 victory. The three points enabled them to leapfrog FC Kariya out of the bottom two, as Kariya's 5-2 thrashing at TDK SC was their fifth consecutive defeat.

Also moving up the table are Sagawa Printing thanks to an impressive 3-0 win at Ryutsu Keizai University that included two goals for ex-Ehime FC striker Hirokazu Otsubo. Bottom side Arte Takasaki almost inevitably sank to a 2-1 defeat at YKK AP, who now are in third place, in front of both Yokogawa Musashino and FC Gifu. Takasaki meanwhile have lost sixteen of their last seventeen games. But at the other end of the division, Sagawa Kyubin SC are four points clear of Rosso Kumamoto after winning 2-0 against Gainare Tottori.

24 Jul 07 - A bad defeat for RKU in red at home to Sagawa Printing

A bad defeat for RKU in red at home to Sagawa Printing

Sun 22 Jul: Mitsubishi Mizushima 3-4 FC Ryukyu
Sun 22 Jul: Ryutsu Keizai University 0-3 Sagawa Printing
Sun 22 Jul: Sagawa Kyubin SC 2-0 Gainare Tottori
Sun 22 Jul: TDK SC 5-2 FC Kariya
Sun 22 Jul: YKK AP 2-1 Arte Takasaki

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 51 (+32)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 47 (+23)
3. YKK AP 38 (+10)
4. Yokogawa Musashino 37 (+11)
5. FC Gifu 37 (+8)
6. Alo's Hokuriku 34 (+1)
7. Honda FC 33 (+9)
8. JEF Reserves 32 (-)
9. Tochigi SC 29 (+7)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 27 (-4)
11. TDK SC 26 (+4)
12. Sagawa Printing 26 (-7)
13. Mitsubishi Mizushima 25 (-7)
14. Gainare Tottori 24 (-5)
15. Sony Sendai 22 (-14)
16. FC Ryukyu 19 (-28)
17. FC Kariya 17 (-14)
18. Arte Takasaki 5 (-26)

24 Jul 07 - Ryukyu defend on the way to their win in Mizushima

Ryukyu defend on the way to their win in Mizushima
Regional League News In Brief
The last round of Hokushinetsu League fixtures has been postponed as a result of the Niigata earthquake. The matches that had originally been scheduled for Sun 22 July will now be played on Sun 09 September.
JFL News In Brief
... struggling FC Kariya have loaned out 26-year-old forward Ryusuke Kusumoto to neighbouring Tokai League side Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo... and two players have left Arte Takasaki. Young defender Tafael has signed for high-flying Prefectural League team Tonan SC Gunma, while second choice goalkeeper Masaru Nojiri is now with YSCC of the Kanto League. But Takasaki have signed 21-year-old defender Raul from the 12 de Octubre club in his native Paraguay...
JFL Saturday Scores
Championship challengers Rosso Kumamoto let slip two potentially vital points in the battle for the JFL crown on Saturday. Having taken the lead in the opening seconds through experienced former Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo midfielder Masahiko Kumagai, the Kyushu side conceded a shock last-minute Junpei Murata goal in their match at home to lowly Sony Sendai. The 1-1 draw means that Rosso fail to overtake Sagawa Kyubin SC, who play tomorrow - and in what is looking like a two-horse race, that is an error that may well not go unpunished.

Indeed, the gap between the front pair and the rest now stands at ten points, with Yokogawa Musashino now in third after their 1-0 win over Alo's Hokuriku and an increasingly sluggish-looking FC Gifu dropping down to fourth. Gifu, who have just a single goal to show for their last four matches, lost 2-0 at home to the even more wildly out-of-form Tochigi SC, previously without a victory since the beginning of May. Tochigi now stand ninth and are just close enough to the top four position they need to gain promotion to the J-League - although one of the teams in their way are improving Honda FC, 4-2 winners over JEF Reserves.

24 Jul 07 - Tochigi fans see their team actually win a game

Tochigi fans see their team actually win a game

Sat 21 Jul: FC Gifu 0-2 Tochigi SC
Sat 21 Jul: Honda FC 4-2 JEF Reserves
Sat 21 Jul: Rosso Kumamoto 1-1 Sony Sendai
Sat 21 Jul: Yokogawa Musashino 1-0 Alo's Hokuriku

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 48 (+30)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 47 (+23)
3. Yokogawa Musashino 37 (+11)
4. FC Gifu 37 (+8)
5. YKK AP 35 (+9)
6. Alo's Hokuriku 34 (+1)
7. Honda FC 33 (+9)
8. JEF Reserves 32 (-)
9. Tochigi SC 29 (+7)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 27 (-1)
11. Mitsubishi Mizushima 25 (-6)
12. Gainare Tottori 24 (-3)
13. TDK SC 23 (+1)
14. Sagawa Printing 23 (-10)
15. Sony Sendai 22 (-14)
16. FC Kariya 17 (-11)
17. FC Ryukyu 16 (-29)
18. Arte Takasaki 5 (-25)

24 Jul 07 - Masahiro Kumagai, Rosso Kumamoto goalscorer

Masahiro Kumagai, Rosso Kumamoto goalscorer
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