Japanese Non-league Football News

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JFL News In Brief
... after a disastrous season in Okinawa, former Honda FC boss Hideo Yoshizawa is to quit as coach of JFL strugglers FC Ryukyu... Sagawa Printing coach Yuji Hashimoto will also step down at the end of the year... but Koichi Hashiratani has extended his deal in charge of Tochigi SC...
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JFL Midweek Scores
FC Gifu were given the green light to J-League promotion on Wednesday - and they didn't even play a match. Two re-arranged JFL fixtures were nevertheless staged midweek and it was Honda FC who did Gifu a massive favour, fielding a weakened side that crashed 6-0 at home to Ryutsu Keizai University, when a win would have taken Honda into the top four at Gifu's expense. In the other match, champions Sagawa Kyubin SC gained a narrow win over Sagawa Printing.

Wed 28 Nov: Honda FC 0-6 Ryutsu Keizai University
Wed 28 Nov: Sagawa Kyubin SC 1-0 Sagawa Printing

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 80 (+48)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 66 (+28)
3. Alo's Hokuriku 58 (+15)
4. FC Gifu 57 (+12)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Honda FC 55 (+16)
6. YKK AP 55 (+8)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 54 (+7)
8. JEF Reserves 51 (+5)
9. Tochigi SC 49 (+13)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 47 (+8)
11. Sagawa Printing 43 (-9)
12. TDK SC 42 (+5)
13. Sony Sendai 41 (-14)
14. Gainare Tottori 39 (-8)
15. Mitsubishi Mizushima 35 (-15)
16. FC Kariya 28 (-22)
17. FC Ryukyu 24 (-45)
18. Arte Takasaki 7 (-52)
Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off Results
The First Round group stage of the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off tournament has been staged over the weekend, with fourteen top Regional League sides competing for the right to go through to the Final Round next weekend - the ultimate goal, of course, being a place in the JFL next season. The participants were divided into four groups, the winners of which would qualify for the deciding stage.

Group A was essentially a battle between competition favourites Fagiano Okayama and Kyushu's Honda Lock, who were relegated out of the JFL just twelve months ago. With each having beaten Tohoku League side Grulla Morioka, the decider on Sunday was taken 3-1 by Chugoku League champions Fagiano. They will be joined next week by Group B winners New Wave Kitakyushu, whose passage past unfancied Yazaki Valente and NEC Tokin was not necessarily as smooth as they might have liked.

There were four teams apiece in Groups C and D - and both were won by representatives from Kansai, although FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu were taking part in their capacity as holders of the All-Japan Shakaijin competition held last month. Banditonce Kobe continue to develop their reputation as one of the top sides at this level of football, winning Group C in the main thanks to a key victory over ambitious Kanto League champions FC Machida Zelvia.

And Group D was a thriller of a contest between FC Mi-o and Matsumoto Yamaga Club from the Hokushinetsu region. Mi-o crushed FC Central Chugoku 9-1 in the opening fixture in the group, while Matsumoto brushed aside Tokushima Vortis Amateur. In the end it came down to the last match and it was the more experienced Light Greens from Shiga prefecture who overcame a stiff challenge from the Dark Greens from Nagano.

Group A in Hiroshima

Fri 23 Nov: Grulla Morioka 1-2 Fagiano Okayama
Sat 24 Nov: Grulla Morioka 0-3 Honda Lock
Sun 25 Nov: Fagiano Okayama 3-1 Honda Lock

1. Fagiano Okayama 6 (+3)
2. Honda Lock 3 (+1)
3. Grulla Morioka 0 (-4)

Group B in Hiroshima

Fri 23 Nov: Yazaki Valente 2-2 New Wave Kitakyushu (PK 2-4)
Sat 24 Nov: Yazaki Valente 2-1 NEC Tokin
Sun 25 Nov: New Wave Kitakyushu 1-0 NEC Tokin

1. New Wave Kitakyushu 5 (+1)
2. Yazaki Valente 4 (+1)
3. NEC Tokin 0 (-2)

Group C in Kariya

Fri 23 Nov: FC Machida Zelvia 0-1 Banditonce Kobe
Fri 23 Nov: Shizuoka FC 3-1 Norbritz Hokkaido
Sat 24 Nov: FC Machida Zelvia 2-2 Shizuoka FC (PK 5-4)
Sat 24 Nov: Banditonce Kobe 3-1 Norbritz Hokkaido
Sun 25 Nov: FC Machida Zelvia 6-0 Norbritz Hokkaido
Sun 25 Nov: Banditonce Kobe 3-1 Shizuoka FC

1. Banditonce Kobe 9 (+5)
2. FC Machida Zelvia 5 (+5)
3. Shizuoka 4 (-)
4. Norbritz Hokkaido 0 (-10)

Group D in Matsumoto

Fri 23 Nov: FC Central Chugoku 1-9 FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu
Fri 23 Nov: Matsumoto Yamaga Club 4-0 Tokushima Vortis Amateur
Sat 24 Nov: FC Central Chugoku 0-4 Matsumoto Yamaga Club
Sat 24 Nov: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 2-1 Tokushima Vortis Amateur
Sun 25 Nov: FC Central Chugoku 0-6 Tokushima Vortis Amateur
Sun 25 Nov: FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 2-0 Matsumoto Yamaga Club

1. FC Mi-o Biwako Kusatsu 9 (+11)
2. Matsumoto Yamaga Club 6 (+6)
3. Tokushima Vortis Amateur 3 (+1)
4. FC Central Chugoku 0 (-18)
JFL Sunday Scores
There's no doubt where the key JFL match was on Sunday, as promotion-chasing FC Gifu fell to a disastrous 3-1 home defeat at the hands of champions Sagawa Kyubin SC. This means that Gifu are now only two points ahead of fifth-placed Honda FC with one game to go - although the Greens should be safe, seeing as that particular game is against bottom team Arte Takasaki.

Honda themselves overtook a YKK AP team who have gone into a slump following coach Hiroshi Sowa's decision to field a weakened line-up in the last couple of matches. A resurgent Yokogawa Musashino may yet have a part to play as they moved back up to seventh with a 1-0 win in Okayama against Mitsubishi Mizushima, while promoted Rosso Kumamoto drew 2-2 at TDK SC.

If there is to be a relegation play-off it will be FC Ryukyu who might have to take part in it. The Okinawans will now definitely finish second bottom, as a result of their draw with Sony Sendai. In the other game, JEF Reserves were 2-1 winners at home to Gainare Tottori.

Sun 25 Nov: FC Gifu 1-3 Sagawa Kyubin SC
FC Ryukyu 2-2 Sony Sendai
Honda FC 3-0 YKK AP
JEF Reserves 2-1 Gainare Tottori
Mitsubishi Mizushima 0-1 Yokogawa Musashino
TDK SC 2-2 Rosso Kumamoto

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 77 (+47)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 66 (+28)
3. Alo's Hokuriku 58 (+15)
4. FC Gifu 57 (+12)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Honda FC 55 (+22)
6. YKK AP 55 (+8)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 54 (+7)
8. JEF Reserves 51 (+5)
9. Tochigi SC 49 (+13)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 44 (+2)
11. Sagawa Printing 43 (-8)
12. TDK SC 42 (+5)
13. Sony Sendai 41 (-14)
14. Gainare Tottori 39 (-8)
15. Mitsubishi Mizushima 35 (-15)
16. FC Kariya 28 (-22)
17. FC Ryukyu 24 (-45)
18. Arte Takasaki 7 (-52)
Kanto Prefectural League Promotion Play-offs
The Prefectural Play-off tournament to decide promotion into Division 2 of the Kanto League for 2008 took place in Chiba last weekend, a straightforward knock-out competition for sixteen of the region's top Prefectural League sides. The favourites beforehand were arguably the Tokyo clubs FC Korea and Aries FC Tokyo - and so it proved, with both reaching the final and Aries eventually running out 5-2 winners.

They therefore return to Regional League football after an absence of only a season, but otherwise the Kanto League organisers are playing their cards close to their chests as regards other arrangements for promotion and relegation. It is likely that they will wait to discover the fate of Division 1 champions FC Machida Zelvia in the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off before confirming promotion and relegation throughout their own league.

Participants

Aries FC Tokyo エリースFC東京 (Tokyo)
Aventura Saitama アヴェントゥーラ サイタマ (Saitama)
Chiba Teachers 千葉教員SC (Chiba)
FC Chizuka FC千塚 (Yamanashi)
FC Korea FCコリア (Tokyo)
FC Seibudai FC西武台 (Saitama)
Footwork Club フットワーククラブ (Kanagawa)
Hanno Cebollitas 飯能セボジータス (Saitama)
Hitachi Building System Care 日立ビルシステム ビルケ (Tokyo)
Ibaraki Teachers 茨城教員葵FC (Ibaraki)
Shirasawa Club 白沢クラブ (Tochigi)
Tonan SC Gunma 図南SC群馬 (Gunma)
Urawa Reds Amateur 浦和レッズアマチュア (Saitama)
Urayasu JSC 浦安JSC (Chiba)
Utsunomiya FC 宇都宮FC (Tochigi)
Yokohama Takeru 横浜猛蹴 (Kanagawa)

First Round

Sat 10 Nov: Aventura Saitama 2-2 Hitachi Building System Care (PK 4-5)
Sat 10 Nov: FC Chizuka 1-5 Chiba Teachers
Sat 10 Nov: FC Korea 3-1 Hanno Cebollitas
Sat 10 Nov: Footwork Club 0-1 Aries FC Tokyo
Sat 10 Nov: Ibaraki Teachers 0-0 Urawa Reds Amateur (PK 4-5)
Sat 10 Nov: Shirasawa Club 3-2 FC Seibudai
Sat 10 Nov: Tonan SC Gunma 2-2 Yokohama Takeru (PK 3-1)
Sat 10 Nov: Urayasu JSC 2-1 Utsunomiya FC

Second Round

Sun 11 Nov: FC Korea 1-0 Tonan SC Gunma
Sun 11 Nov: Hitachi Building System Care 1-0 Urayasu JSC
Sun 11 Nov: Shirasawa Club 0-1 Chiba Teachers
Sun 11 Nov: Urawa Reds Amateur 1-2 Aries FC Tokyo

Semi-Finals

Sat 17 Nov: FC Korea 1-0 Chiba Teachers
Sat 17 Nov: Hitachi Building System Care 0-1 Aries FC Tokyo

Final

Sun 18 Nov FC Korea 2-5 Aries FC Tokyo
JFL Saturday Scores
There were three fixtures played in the JFL on Saturday, Alo's Hokuriku running out the biggest winners as they moved into third place after a 3-0 defeat of Sagawa Printing. Former J-League striker Yoshiteru Yamashita netted a late goal to give Tochigi SC a victory at Ryutsu Keizai University, while bottom side Arte Takasaki picked up their first point since early August in a goalless draw with FC Kariya.

Sat 24 Nov: FC Kariya 0-0 Arte Takasaki
Sat 24 Nov: Ryutsu Keizai University 2-3 Tochigi SC
Sat 24 Nov: Sagawa Printing 0-3 Alo's Hokuriku

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 74 (+45)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 65 (+28)
3. Alo's Hokuriku 58 (+15)
4. FC Gifu 57 (+14)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. YKK AP 55 (+11)
6. Honda FC 52 (+19)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 51 (+6)
8. Tochigi SC 49 (+13)
9. JEF Reserves 48 (+4)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 44 (+2)
11. Sagawa Printing 43 (-8)
12. TDK SC 41 (+5)
13. Sony Sendai 40 (-14)
14. Gainare Tottori 39 (-7)
15. Mitsubishi Mizushima 35 (-14)
16. FC Kariya 28 (-22)
17. FC Ryukyu 23 (-45)
18. Arte Takasaki 7 (-52)
JFL Sunday Scores
2007 JFL champions Sagawa Kyubin SC just failed to see off their predecessors from last season, Honda FC when the two teams met on Sunday. Sho Gokyu gave Sagawa the lead with his 28th goal of the year but Daiju Kawashima levelled things up in the dying seconds. The other key action near the top of the table saw YKK AP slip out of the top four following their shock 3-0 home defeat to TDK SC, a result that increases the likelihood of FC Gifu following Rosso Kumamoto into the J-League for 2008.

Elsewhere, Tochigi SC's miserable season continued as they lost to Sagawa Printing to drop back to mid-table. Another team that surely cannot wait to see the back of 2007 is bottom-of-the-table Arte Takasaki, who at least managed to hold JEF Reserves to a goalless draw at half-time... only to concede four after the break. They remain seventeen points behind FC Ryukyu as a consequence.

Sun 18 Nov: Arte Takasaki 0-4 JEF Reserves
Sun 18 Nov: Sagawa Kyubin SC 1-1 Honda FC
Sun 18 Nov: Tochigi SC 1-2 Sagawa Printing
Sun 18 Nov: YKK AP 0-3 TDK SC

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 74 (+45)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 65 (+28)
3. FC Gifu 57 (+14)
4. Alo's Hokuriku 55 (+12)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. YKK AP 55 (+11)
6. Honda FC 52 (+19)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 51 (+6)
8. JEF Reserves 48 (+4)
9. Tochigi SC 46 (+12)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 44 (+3)
11. Sagawa Printing 43 (-5)
12. TDK SC 41 (+5)
13. Sony Sendai 40 (-14)
14. Gainare Tottori 39 (-7)
15. Mitsubishi Mizushima 35 (-14)
16. FC Kariya 27 (-22)
17. FC Ryukyu 23 (-45)
18. Arte Takasaki 6 (-52)
JFL Saturday Scores
FC Gifu took a giant step towards sealing a vital top four JFL finish on Saturday, as two goals in the final quarter-hour rounded off a 3-0 win over Gainare Tottori. This keeps them ahead of fifth-placed Alo's Hokuriku, who kept up their recent run of good form by beating lowly FC Ryukyu 2-0. The opening goal for Alo's came in the first minute and was star striker Hideyuki Ishida's fourteenth of the season.

Second in the scoring charts, however, is Rosso Kumamoto's Yutaka Takahashi, who picked up his twenty-fourth league goal of 2007 in what turned out to be a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Mitsubishi Mizushima for the J2-bound outfit. Elsewhere, midfielder Takashi Harashima was twice on target for Yokogawa Musashino as they beat Ryutsu Keizai University, while Sony Sendai moved up two places as a result of their defeat of FC Kariya.

Sat 17 Nov: Alo's Hokuriku 2-0 FC Ryukyu
Sat 17 Nov: Gainare Tottori 0-3 FC Gifu
Sat 17 Nov: Rosso Kumamoto 1-1 Mitsubishi Mizushima
Sat 17 Nov: Sony Sendai 2-1 FC Kariya
Sat 17 Nov: Yokogawa Musashino 3-2 Ryutsu Keizai University

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 73 (+45)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 65 (+28)
3. FC Gifu 57 (+14)
4. YKK AP 55 (+14)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Alo's Hokuriku 55 (+12)
6. Honda FC 51 (+19)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 51 (+6)
8. Tochigi SC 46 (+13)
9. JEF Reserves 45 (-)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 44 (+3)
11. Sagawa Printing 40 (-6)
12. Sony Sendai 40 (-14)
13. Gainare Tottori 39 (-7)
14. TDK SC 38 (+2)
15. Mitsubishi Mizushima 35 (-14)
16. FC Kariya 27 (-22)
17. FC Ryukyu 23 (-45)
18. Arte Takasaki 6 (-48)
JFL News In Brief
... it's been announced that the merged YKK AP and Alo's Hokuriku club that will participate from next year in the JFL is to be known as Kataller Toyama... meanwhile there are suggestions in the media that Rosso Kumamoto may be forced to change their name if they succeed in their ambition of winning promotion to J2. Roasso Kumamoto is reported to be the most likely alternative...

... the format of the promotion and relegation mechanism between the Regional Leagues and the JFL has been confirmed, ahead of next weekend's Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off tournament. It's all complicated stuff, so pay attention to the three possibilities as follows:

1. If no-one is promoted to the J-League, Arte Takasaki will be relegated, the top two Play-off teams will be promoted and the third placed Play-off team will face an additional play-off against the next-to-bottom JFL side - currently likely to be FC Ryukyu.

2. If one team are promoted to the J-League, the top two Play-off teams will be promoted and the third placed Play-off team will gace an additional play-off against Arte.

3. If two teams are promoted to the J-League, the top two Play-off teams will be promoted and there won't be any relegation from the JFL.
Tokai League Division 1
There was one late fixture to conclude Division 1 of the Tokai League, with the civil servants of Fujieda City Hall claiming an easy win over the deliverymen of Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo. This didn't impact upon either the top or bottom of the table, however, with Shizuoka FC and Yazaki Valente still looking forward to participating in the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off tournament next weekend, while Kasugai Club and Honda Suzuka are both relegated straight back to Division 2.

Sat 27 Oct: Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo 1-4 Fujieda City Hall

1. Shizuoka FC 39 (+39)
2. Yazaki Valente 34 (+27)
3. Fujieda City Hall 20 (-)
4. Sagawa Kyubin Chukyo 16 (-16)
5. Chukyo University 15 (-1)
6. Maruyasu Industries 14 (-17)
7. Kasugai Club 13 (-10)
8. Honda Suzuka 12 (-22)
Tohoku League Division 2 Play-off
Division 2 (North) champions FC Akita Cambiare gained a shock 2-0 win in their play-off with southern counterparts Viancone Fukushima to move up to the Tohoku League Division 1 for 2008. Cambiare, who have dominated their level in recent years without ever being able to make the step up, will replace relegated side Nippon Steel Kamaishi, while Viancone have an additional opportunity to gain promotion when they play off against Morioka Zebra.

Sun 28 Oct: FC Akita Cambiare 2-0 Viancone Fukushima
Tohoku League Division 2 (North)
There was one late result from Division 2 (North) of the Tohoku League, with relegated side Hokuto Bank losing 4-1 to the students of Fuji Club 2003.

Sun 28 Oct: Fuji Club 2003 4-1 Hokuto Bank

1. FC Akita Cambiare 32 (+33)
2. Mizusawa Club 29 (+17)
3. Tono Club 27 (+9)
4. Fuji Club 2003 21 (+4)
5. Saruta Industry 19 (-)
6. Vanraure Hachinohe 17 (-3)
7. Omiya Club 9 (-19)
8. Hokuto Bank 4 (-41)
Tohoku League Division 1
Late confirmation here of the final batch of results in Division 1 of the Tohoku League. It has long been clear that Grulla Morioka would take the title, after TDK Akita gained a sensational promotion to the JFL last season, but Grulla rather blotted their copybook by losing the last match of the year at home to their nearest challengers, NEC Tokin. It is NEC that will therefore join Grulla in the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off tournament next week, aiming to follow in the footsteps of TDK.

At the other end of the table - although things could yet change if Grulla or TDK are able to seal what would be a remarkable move upwards - after several seasons of struggle Nippon Steel Kamaishi were finally relegated to Division 2,(North) while Morioka Zebra face a play-off against ambitious Viancone Fukushima after they are to retain their place in the higher division.

Sun 14 Oct: FC Primeiro 3-10 Grulla Morioka
Sun 14 Oct: Furukawa Battery 0-2 Wiese Shiogama
Sun 14 Oct: Morioka Zebra 2-2 Nippon Steel Kamaishi

Sat 20 Oct: Grulla Morioka 1-2 NEC Tokin

Sun 21 Oct: Furukawa Battery 3-1 FC Primeiro
Sun 21 Oct: Sendai Nakata Club 4-1 Nippon Steel Kamaishi
Sun 21 Oct: Wiese Shiogama 1-1 Morioka Zebra

1. Grulla Morioka 39 (+51)
2. NEC Tokin 34 (+41)
3. FC Primeiro 22 (-4)
4. Wiese Shiogama 18 (-3)
5. Sendai Nakata Club 16 (-10)
6. Furukawa Battery 14 (-27)
7. Morioka Zebra 12 (-18)
8. Nippon Steel Kamaishi 6 (-30)
Hokushinetsu League Division 2 / Prefectural Play-offs
Just twelve months after having been relegated from the Hokushinetsu League Division 1, Teihens FC have been demoted from Regional League football altogether, after they lost 3-2 on aggregate to Niigata University of Health & Welfare in the Division 2 / Prefectural Leagues Play-off. They will therefore compete in the Ishikawa Prefectural League next season, bringing to an end a tenure in the Hokushinetsu League of fully thirty years.

The students, meanwhile, had earned the right to take on Teihens after having finished runner-up in the recent Prefectural Leagues Play-off tournament. They will in turn play Regional League football in 2008 for the first time and are promoted alongside Nagano's Nissei Resin.

Sun 04 Nov: Niigata University of Health & Welfare 1-1 Teihens FC

Sun 11 Nov: Teihens FC 1-2 Niigata University of Health & Welfare
Hokushinetsu League Division 1 / Division 2 Play-off
In the second leg of their Play-off last weekend, ambitious Saurcos Fukui netted a crucial extra time to goal to defeat Niigata University of Management and replace them in next season's Division 1 of the Hokushinetsu League. Saurcos, who were previously known as FC Kanazu and who are aiming ultimately to become their home prefecture's J-League franchise, thereby gained a 4-3 aggregate win and will join one of the most competitive Regional League divisions in Japan.

Sun 04 Nov: Saurcos Fukui 2-1 Niigata University of Management

Sun 11 Nov: Niigata University of Management 2-2 Saurcos Fukui (AET)
Chugoku League Prefectural Play-offs
FC Ube Yahhh-man from Yamaguchi and Okayama's NTN Okayama have gained promotion to the Chugoku League for the 2008 season. The two clubs made their way to the final of the Prefectural Leagues Play-off tournament that was staged in Okayama over last weekend. Both sides have been amongst the strongest teams in their local prefectures for a number of seasons, but had previously failed to negotiate the play-offs; they will now hope that they can make the step up to playing Regional League football. Below is a full list of participants and results from the play-off competition.

Participants

FC Ube Yahhh-man FC宇部ヤーマン (Yamaguchi)
Fuji Xerox Hiroshima 富士ゼロックス広島 (Hiroshima)
Genki SC 元気SC (Tottori)
Hamada FC Cosmos 浜田FCコスモス (Shimane)
Hiroshima Teachers 広島教員 (Hiroshima)
Iwakuni SC 岩国SC (Yamaguchi)
Iwami FC 石見FC (Shimane)
Kibi International Industry 吉備国際工華 (Okayama)
NTN Okayama NTN岡山 (Okayama)
Tottori KFC 鳥取KFC (Tottori)

Preliminary Round

Sat 10 Nov: Hamada FC Cosmos 1-1 Hiroshima Teachers (PK 5-6)
Sat 10 Nov: Kibi International Industry 2-0 Iwami FC

First Round

Sun 11 Nov: FC Ube Yahhh-man 4-1 Genki SC
Sun 11 Nov: Fuji Xerox Hiroshima 0-1 Kibi International Industry
Sun 11 Nov: Hamada FC Cosmos 0-0 Tottori KFC (PK 2-4)
Sun 11 Nov: NTN Okayama 7-1 Iwakuni SC

Semi-Finals

Mon 12 Nov: FC Ube Yahhh-man 1-0 Kibi International Industry
Mon 12 Nov: Tottori KFC 1-3 NTN Okayama

Final

Mon 12 Nov: NTN Okayama 2-0 FC Ube Yahhh-man

JFL Weekend Scores
A busy weekend of JFL action has seen J-League hopefuls Rosso Kumamoto confirm their top four finish - meaning that, all things being equal, their promotion to J2 should be confirmed - while elsewhere was one of the major shock results of the whole year. Rosso strode to a 4-0 win at neighbours FC Ryukyu, netting twice in each half to move twelve points ahead of fifth-placed Alo's Hokuriku with only three rounds of matches left to play.

Alo's missed an opportunity to put pressure on their rivals, going down 2-1 away to Gainare Tottori despite having taken an early lead through Keisuke Kimoto. This meant YKK AP and FC Gifu remain third and fourth respectively, after draws against Sagawa Printing SC and TDK SC. But their 2-1 win over Mitsubishi Mizushima means that Honda FC cannot be discounted from making a late surge at the end of what has been a disappointing campaign for the reigning champions.

Of the mid-table sides, Yokogawa Musashino continued their recent improvement in form by beating lowly FC Kariya, while Tochigi SC's defeat of JEF Reserves means that they are unbeaten in five games. Bottom place Arte Takasaki fell to an agonising last-minute loss at home to Sony Sendai, but the outstanding scoreline of the weekend undoubtedly came from Ibaraki, where three goals in the last five minutes enabled Ryutsu Keizai University to hand out a 4-1 thrashing to leaders Sagawa Kyubin SC.

Wed 07 Nov: TDK SC 2-0 Mitsubishi Mizushima

Sat 10 Nov: FC Kariya 0-1 Yokogawa Musashino
Sat 10 Nov: Sagawa Printing 2-2 YKK AP

Sun 11 Nov: Arte Takasaki 0-1 Sony Sendai
Sun 11 Nov: FC Ryukyu 0-4 Rosso Kumamoto
Sun 11 Nov: Gainare Tottori 2-1 Alo's Hokuriku
Sun 11 Nov: JEF Reserves 0-2 Tochigi SC
Sun 11 Nov: Mitsubishi Mizushima 1-2 Honda FC
Sun 11 Nov: Ryutsu Keizai University 4-1 Sagawa Kyubin SC
Sun 11 Nov: TDK SC 0-0 FC Gifu

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 73 (+45)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 64 (+28)
3. YKK AP 55 (+14)
4. FC Gifu 54 (+11)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Alo's Hokuriku 52 (+10)
6. Honda FC 51 (+19)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 48 (+5)
8. Tochigi SC 46 (+13)
9. JEF Reserves 45 (-)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 44 (+4)
11. Sagawa Printing 40 (-6)
12. Gainare Tottori 39 (-4)
13. TDK SC 38 (+2)
14. Sony Sendai 37 (-15)
15. Mitsubishi Mizushima 34 (-14)
16. FC Kariya 27 (-21)
17. FC Ryukyu 23 (-43)
18. Arte Takasaki 6 (-48)
JFL News In Brief
... it's been confirmed that Gainare Tottori will not be candidates for a J-League place next season, having fallen a considerable way short of the J-League's ruling that associate member clubs should achieved a JFL top four finish this season in order to be considered for promotion. Tottori have indicated that they will aim to move into J2 for the 2009 season... meanwhile, meetings have been taking place between Rosso Kumamoto and J-League staff as the Kyushu side continue to work towards what they hope will be a J-League place next year...
Chugoku League
The Chugoku League season concluded last Sunday with champions Fagiano Okayama running in four goals without reply against their closest challengers, FC Central Chugoku. This means that the Pheasants have won all seventeen league matches this year, conceding only four times in the process, and they go into the Regional League Championship Winners' Play-off tournament later this month among the favourites to gain promotion to the JFL.

Renofa Yamaguchi pipped Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku to third place thanks in part to a 3-2 win in their match, whilst in the bottom half of the split table, Hiroshima Fujita SC and neighbours Mazda SC drew and bottom side Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado picked up a rare victory at the expense of JFE Steel Western Japan.

Top Half

Sun 28 Oct: Fagiano Okayama 4-0 FC Central Chugoku
Sun 28 Oct: Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 2-3 Renofa Yamaguchi

Bottom Half

Sun 28 Oct: Hiroshima Fujita SC 2-2 Mazda SC
Sun 28 Oct: JFE Steel Western Japan Fukuyama 2-3 Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado

Top Half

1. Fagiano Okayama 51 (+85)
2. FC Central Chugoku 34 (+13)
3. Renofa Yamaguchi 25 (-4)
4. Sagawa Kyubin Chugoku 21 (-5)

Bottom Half

5. Hiroshima Fujita SC 24 (-2)
6. Mazda SC 22 (-8)
7. JFE Steel Western Japan Fukuyama 11 (-27)
8. Hitachi Manufacturing Kasado 9 (-52)
JFL Saturday Scores
The weekend's JFL fixture list has been affected by the continuing participation of several clubs - including league leaders Sagawa Kyubin SC in the Emperor's Cup, but there was still some significant action on Saturday. Rosso Kumamoto took a step nearer to guaranteeing themselves a top four finish and a J2 place by beating FC Kariya, thanks to a single Takeshi Yamaguchi goal early in the second half.

But in fact all the top sides continued their recent good form. YKK AP cruised to a 4-0 win over FC Ryukyu to stay third and FC Gifu crept past Sony Sendai, Jorginho netting the vital winner six minutes from time. Still putting pressure on Gifu, however, are Alo's Hokuriku, for whom Hideyuki Ishida scored five times as they crushed bottom side Arte Takasaki 7-0.

There were also a couple of mid-table encounters, in which two goals in the first quarter-hour helped Yokogawa Musashino to a victory over Kanto neighbours JEF Reserves and Tochigi SC were pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Gainare Tottori.

Sat 03 Nov: Alo's Hokuriku 7-0 Arte Takasaki
Sat 03 Nov: FC Gifu 3-2 Sony Sendai
Sat 03 Nov: Rosso Kumamoto 1-0 FC Kariya
Sat 03 Nov: Tochigi SC 2-2 Gainare Tottori
Sat 03 Nov: YKK AP 4-0 FC Ryukyu
Sat 03 Nov: Yokogawa Musashino 2-0 JEF Reserves

1. Sagawa Kyubin SC 73 (+48)
2. Rosso Kumamoto 61 (+24)
3. YKK AP 54 (+14)
4. FC Gifu 53 (+11)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
5. Alo's Hokuriku 52 (+11)
6. Honda FC 48 (+18)
7. Yokogawa Musashino 45 (+4)
8. JEF Reserves 45 (+2)
9. Tochigi 42 (+11)
10. Ryutsu Keizai University 41 (+1)
11. Sagawa Printing 39 (-6)
12. Gainare Tottori 36 (-5)
13. TDK SC 34 (-)
14. Mitsubishi Mizushima 34 (-11)
15. Sony Sendai 34 (-16)
16. FC Kariya 27 (-20)
17. FC Ryukyu 23 (-39)
18. Arte Takasaki 6 (-47)
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