Japanese Non-league Football News

Hokkaido League
In the final round of the Hokkaido League season, champions Norbritz Hokkaido as expected were able to complete their fixtures with a 100% record thanks to a 1-0 win over third place side Barefoot Hokkaido. Separating those two teams in the final standings are Sapporo Winds, an impressive showing for a newly-promoted team - but their 3-0 defeat by Sapporo FC meant that they finished the year with three heavy losses.

That win by Sapporo FC in turn meant that they were able to jump out of the bottom two places in an exciting relegation battle. The regulations imposed by the Hokkaido FA in terms of promotion from the four Block Leagues are unclear, which means that Hokushukai and Tokachifairsky Genesis will potentially have to wait until the Block League Play-offs have finished to learn their fate. Hokushukai ended 2007 with a 1-1 draw against Blackpecker Hakodate that rather unluckily saw them slip to the foot of the table on goal difference, while Tokachifairsky may have done enough to save themselves by beating Toyota Motors Hokkaido.

Sun 07 Oct: Hokushukai 1-1 Blackpecker Hakodate
Sun 07 Oct: Norbritz Hokkaido 1-0 Barefoot Hokkaido
Sun 07 Oct: Sapporo Winds 0-3 Sapporo FC
Sun 07 Oct: Tokachifairsky Genesis 3-0 Toyota Motors Hokkaido

1. Norbritz Hokkaido 42 (+53)
2. Sapporo Winds 28 (+11)
3. Barefoot Hokkaido 20 (+2)
4. Toyota Motors Hokkaido 17 (-9)
5. Sapporo FC 14 (-11)
6. Blackpecker Hakodate 13 (-11)
7. Tokachifairsky Genesis 13 (-14)
8. Hokushukai 13 (-21)

JFL News In Brief
... Tochigi SC are aiming to give a boost to their distant hopes of achieving a J2 place next year with the news that they have awarded professional contracts to three players. Toru Yamazaki is a defender who joined the club from SC Tottori, Hiromichi Katano is a midfielder and Koji Fukazawa a forward... Rosso Kumamoto beat Kyushu League side New Wave Kitakyushu 3-1 in a friendly on Saturday...
Emperor's Cup Third Round Results
The main highlights of the Third Round of this year's Emperor's Cup for non-league fans were the exceptional performances of JFL sides TDK SC and Honda FC in knocking out J2 big guns Consadole Sapporo and Tokyo Verdy 1969 respectively. College outfits Meiji University and Juntendo University also deserve considerable credit for eliminating Kyoto Sanga and Vegalta Sendai.

Regional League interest in the tournament is nevertheless over for another year. Okinawa Kariyushi ran Ehime FC close but conceded the only goal of the game in extra time to go out and fellow Kyushu Leaguers V Varen Nagasaki were comfortably beaten at Shonan Bellmare. From Hokushinetsu, Zweigen Kanazawa's remarkable run has taken them past both FC Kariya and Rosso Kumamoto but came to an end at J2 strugglers Mito Hollyhock, while Banditonce Kobe of the Kansai League were swept aside at JFL champions-elect Sagawa Kyubin SC.

The full Third Round results are as follows:

Sun 07 Oct: Avispa Fukuoka 4-0 Tochigi SC
Sun 07 Oct: Cerezo Osaka 4-2 Honda Lock
Sun 07 Oct: Consadole Sapporo 1-1 TDK SC (aet, PK 9-10)
Sun 07 Oct: Ehime FC 1-0 Okinawa Kariyushi (aet)
Sun 07 Oct: Kyoto Sanga 0-1 Meiji University
Sun 07 Oct: Mito Hollyhock 1-0 Zweigen Kanazawa
Sun 07 Oct: Montedio Yamagata 3-0 National Institute of Fitness & Sports in Kanoya
Sun 07 Oct: Sagan Tosu 1-0 Tsukuba University
Sun 07 Oct: Sagawa Kyubin SC 4-0 Banditonce Kobe
Sun 07 Oct: Shonan Bellmare 3-0 V Varen Nagasaki
Sun 07 Oct: Thespa Kusatsu 0-0 Alo's Hokuriku (aet, PK 5-4)
Sun 07 Oct: Tokushima Vortis 2-0 FC Gifu
Sun 07 Oct: Tokyo Verdy 1969 0-1 Honda FC (aet)
Sun 07 Oct: Vegalta Sendai 1-2 Juntendo University (aet)

The Fourth Round fixtures will be confirmed as soon as they become available.
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