Japanese Non-league Football News

JFL - Round 33 (Sunday)
The JFL title for the 2006 season was finally confirmed as belonging to Honda FC on Sunday, after the long-time leaders notched up three second-half goals at JEF Club to render their lead unassailable. Fittingly, two of those goals were scored by top marksman Junya Nitta, whose partnership this year with Kodai Suzuki has played such a significant role in the championship returning to Hamamatsu.

In recent weeks, the main challengers to Honda's supremacy have been the goal-crazy Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo, who during the latter half of the season have almost matched the title winners for consistency. Having put eight past Ryutsu Keizai University on their last away trip, the runners-up today crushed FC Ryukyu 6-0 thanks in part to a hat-trick from Kento Hori.

Rosso Kumamoto
concluded their programme of home fixtures with a 2-1 defeat of Alo's Hokuriku, which means that they still retain a very slim chance of a top-three finish when they travel next week to Sagawa Kyubin Osaka. The win for Rosso enabled them to leapfrog YKK AP, who could only draw at home to Tochigi SC.

Along with Alo's, the other team holding on to the coat-tails of the top teams are Yokogawa Musashino, who picked up a 1-0 victory at FC Kariya thanks to a goal from Takumi Otawa. But a glance at the rankings will reveal that the JFL is effectively split into at least two completely different sections, with a gap of fully nineteen points below the leading group of eight sides.

Sony Sendai are positioned just on the wrong side of that chasm, ostensibly a mid-table team but in fact their form has been in freefall for months. Today they suffered the lastest in a long line of poor results in a 4-2 loss at Mitsubishi Mizushima, which nevertheless enables the Okayama-based outfit to move out of the bottom two for the first time in months.

With SC Tottori beating Sagawa Printing 2-1 via a late Kohei Masumoto strike, right at the foot of the table Honda Lock were still clinging on to a slight chance that they might be able to avoid the single relegation play-off place. But that chance was more or less extinguished as a result of Mitsubishi's win, whilst they themselves could only draw at home to Arte Takasaki - meaning that Lock have to thrash Honda FC away next week in the final round to have any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.

26 Nov 06 - Honda Lock prepare to finish bottom of the league, probably

Honda Lock prepare to finish bottom of the league, probably

Sun 26 Nov: YKK AP 1-1 Tochigi SC
Sun 26 Nov: SC Tottori 2-1 Sagawa Printing
Sun 26 Nov: FC Kariya 0-1 Yokogawa Musashino
Sun 26 Nov: Honda Lock 1-1 Arte Takasaki
Sun 26 Nov: Mitsubishi Mizushima 4-2 Sony Sendai
Sun 26 Nov: FC Ryukyu 0-6 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo
Sun 26 Nov: JEF Club 0-3 Honda FC
Sun 26 Nov: Rosso Kumamoto 2-1 Alo's Hokuriku

1 Honda FC 80 (+40)
2 Sagawa Kyubin Tokyo 74 (+61)
3 Sagawa Kyubin Osaka 69 (+38)
4 Rosso Kumamoto 66 (+26)
5 YKK AP 64 (+33)
6 Tochigi SC 57 (+14)
7 Yokogawa Musashino 57 (+18)
8 Alo's Hokuriku 56 (+23)
9 Sony Sendai 37 (-15)
10 Arte Takasaki 36 (-26)
11 SC Tottori 35 (-1)
12 JEF Club 35 (-15)
13 FC Kariya 31 (-17)
14 Sagawa Printing 29 (-27)
15 FC Ryukyu 28 (-28)
16 Mitsubishi Mizushima 27 (-41)
17 Ryutsu Keizai University 25 (-37)
18 Honda Lock 22 (-46)

26 Nov 06 - Honda FC on their way to the JFL title

Honda FC on their way to the JFL title

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