Please note that the Japanese names in these posts are written in Japanese order, i.e. Family Name followed by Given Name

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Nadeshiko League Ninth Round

INAC Kobe win L. Classico with Kawasumi penalty, take five point lead into summer break

NTV Beleza  0 - 1  INAC Kobe Leonessa
(Attendance: 16, 663)

INAC introduced Beverly Goebel-Yanez to Japanese League football today against their strongest opposition yet in NTV Beleza who welcomed back Iwashimizu and Iwabuchi for what promised to be a tense affair, with over 16,600 spectators hoping it would be an entertaining one.

In the first minute Goebel-Yanez had a chance to make a dramatic start to her INAC career when the ball was headed to her by Kinga but under pressure she headed wide. She linked up with Ohno minutes later but the pass was ruled offside, as INAC had showed all of the attacking in the first four minutes. Ito Kanako then found herself in on goal with a good chance for Beleza but struck straight at Kaihori.

The ball was pinged around midfield for the next while until the tenth minute when a combination of good passing and defensive uncertainty almost allowed INAC to score. Takase played the ball through the legs of defender Sudo, and Goebel-Yanez almost scored, Iwabuchi easily beat her marker and shot just wide.

Ohno tried to do too much in front of goal and after Iwashimizu Doko cleared for a corner, Ohno had options inside. Tanaka went in too hard on Iwashimizu and the chance was lost. To this point though, it was clear that Beleza were having problems with long balls played over the top from midfield - a problem INAC have had in past games. Takase had a shot in the 16th minute but that was easily saved. Kawasumi on the left wasn't having much joy but when she moved inside Goebel-Yanez went wide and supplied Kawasumi with a chance to shoot but it was wide. Goebel-Yanez had a great chance herself when she held off Doko but shot badly wide when odds-on to hit the target.

Beleza were attacking sporadically, but in no easily discernible way. A free kick outside the area saw Ito shoot straight at the 'keeper. Iwabuchi showed her class in the 26th minute and when she had a pass to Nagasato returned, her rasping shot was blocked away for a corner. She had two chances to score from the corner, but desperate last-ditch defending prevented her from giving the home side the lead.

In the 30th minute Hara, Nagasato and Iwabuchi linked up and Iwabuchi's shot towards the corner was just turned away from goal by the stretching Kaihori. Having been subjected to an INAC onslaught, it was Beleza who were now making the best chances, with Iwabuchi the most impressive player on the pitch.

Kiryu had the best chance of the match in the 34th minute when almost incredibly sent clear by a ball from deep inside the Beleza half by the alert Nagasato following an INAC corner. She ran towards the middle of goal and only had Kaihori to beat, but shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Nagasato herself had a shot blocked by Tanaka when she looked certain to score, following more excellent work by Iwabuchi on the left, though she injured herself in taking on Kinga, with manager Noda Akemi visibly concerned.

In the final minute of the half, and with no additional time signalled, Goebel-Yanez headed just wide from a Kawasumi cross. Iwabuchi was clearly not 100% and slumped herself in the Beleza dugout in tears, but in the first 45 minutes she was the match of everything INAC had. It took some time for her to get into the match, but following a crunching tackle on Sawa, she started to show both her high level of skill, and her fearlessness in taking on the big names on the champions' side.

Iwabuchi couldn't continue and Tanaka Mina took her place at half-time. Almost no action of note occurred in the opening minutes, with Beleza trying to attack but not getting any real penetration and INAC doing likewise at the other end.

With neither side making any headway, the second half suddenly came to life in the 58th minute when a penalty was awarded to INAC, Kawasumi scoring from the spot after the had been tripped in the box by Ariyoshi. With Iwabuchi off, Beleza's spark and creativity went with her.

Takase created some space in the 67th minute on the left with some good play to beat Iwashimizu and following her saved shot rebounding into the air Ohno had an opportunity to score but she was beaten in the air by Doko and the ball was eventually cleared.

At the other end INAC were very comfortable until the 70th minute when Tanaka had their best chance to score in the second half but her shot was just saved. From the corner Sakaguchi headed over when completely free in front of goal.

In the 73rd minute Moros made her entrance, replacing Takase up front. Three minutes later Kawasumi had a chance for a second when she beat Iwashimizu but her shot was saved.

Minutes later Nagasato was replaced by Kobayashi, and at the same time Minamiyama replaced Ji So-Yun. Kobayashi made an almost immediate impact, catching Ohno with a late challenge, though she was able to continue.

In the last ten minutes Beleza threw more women forward in an attempt to find the equaliser. Coming forward for free kicks and corners meant of course that their defence ran the risk of allowing Moros and Kawasumi to counter-attack, and both did so when presented with the opportunity.

With time running out Beleza looked to break out of defence quickly whenever INAC's moves - which involved Kawasumi and Moros almost exclusively - broke down on the left side. In the end though, without Iwabuchi, they simply didn't seem to have enough to break down a determined INAC defence.

NTV Beleza:
Matsubayashi Miku, Ariyoshi Saori, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Doko Mayo, Sudo Akiko, Ito Kanako, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Hara Natsuko, Kiryu Nanase, Nagasato Asano, Iwabuchi Mana
Subs: Tanaka Mina (Iwabuchi Mana, HT), Kobayashi Yayoi (Nagasato Asano, 77 mins)
Unused subs: Soyama Kanako, Muramatsu Tomoko, Kobayashi Miharu

INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Kaihori Ayumi, Kinga Yukari, Kai Junko, Tanaka Asuna, Takara Ryoko, Ohno Shinobu (capt), Sawa Homare, Ji So-Yun, Takase Megumi, Beverly Goebel-Yanez, Kawasumi Nahomi
Subs: Rebecca Moros (Takase Megumi, 74 mins), Minamiyama Chiaki (Ji So-Yun, 77 mins)
Unused subs: Takenaka Rei, Nakada Ayu, Nakajima Emi
Scorers: Kawasumi Nahomi (60 mins, pen)

Okayama Yunogo Belle  1 - 0  AS Elfen Sayama FC
(Attendance: 2, 710)

Belle moved into third with this win over Sayama, following Urawa's surprising draw against Fukuoka. Sayama stay in the lower reaches of the table, though will still be confident of survival.

Nakamura Miki made her first appearance for Belle, and Nakagawa was back in the starting eleven for Belle, while Sayama made three changes. Uchida and Hagiwara both made their first full starts having joined the club this year, with Saito Yuri starting having come on from the bench last week.

As early as the 14th minute Belle were ahead, eleven year veteran Tsuhako Yumiko scoring her first of the season. From a free kick just outside the Sayama area, Miyama Aya chose not to hit the ball into the area but instead found Arimachi free on the left wing. Her high looping cross was headed into the top corner of the net by Tsuhako.

Belle continued to dominate and Sayama had only one shot in the first half. At half time they replaced Saito with Watanabe and she led the attack, having three shots in the second half. However, it was Belle doing most of the damaging work and Sayama simply couldn't get through.

So with half of the season played, Belle can be reasonably happy with their position, while Sayama will hope to maintain some good form they've shown so far in the closing stages of the season.

Okayama Yunogo Belle:

Fukumoto Miho (capt), Yasuda Kuniko, Kado Yuka, Tsuhako Yumiko, Nakamura Miki, Takahashi Haruka, Nakano Manami, Nakagawa Chihiro, Miyama Aya, Arimachi Saori, Matsuoka Miki
Subs: Yokoyama Kumi (Nakagawa Chihiro, 74 mins)
Unused subs: Ikegaya Natsumi, Shigemoto Shiho, Sakai Nozomi, Mizushima Kumi
Scorers: Tsuhako Yumiko (14 mins)

AS Elfen Sayama FC:
Arima Shizuka, Segi Aiki, Shibata Satomi, Takahashi Yuko, Yajima Yuki, Azami Rie, Uchida Saki, Hagiwara Aimi, Saito Yuri, Suzuki Kaoruko, Muraoka Natsuki (capt)
Subs: Otani Erina (Segi Aiki, 21 mins), Watanabe Ayaka (Saito Yuri, HT), Kawai Nayo (Suzuki Kaoruko, 88 mins)
Unused subs: Otani Haruka, Akitaya Misato

Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies  1 - 1  Fukuoka J. Anclas
(Attendance: 2, 710)

A game which would have been seen as an easy victory for the home side turned out to be a fascinating battle, with the visiting Anclas team refusing to lie down and in the end grabbing a vital equaliser in their quest to stay in the top division.

As early as the 3rd minute a mistake by Yano Kyoko saw 17-year-old Hirata fight to get a shot in from outside the area, which just went wide.

In the 20th minute Arakawa went in for a header close to goal and seemed to be held back though no decision was forthcoming. Seconds later a cross from Tsuchihashi found the goalkeeper reaching hopelessly and it was an easy headed goal for Goto Michi making her first start of the season.

An attack for Fukuoka in the 26th minute saw Kuzuma blaze over the bar from the right side with Wada closing in rapidly. Kushige followed up with a similar shot moments later.

A free header for Yanagita from a Shibata cross was badly put over with Yanagita clearly disappointed with herself. Moments later Goto shot straight at the keeper and the chance was lost.

In the 41st minute following good pressure a rasping shot hit the crossbar and the ball came down still in play, with Shibata banging the ball over the bar on the rebound. Arakawa then also shot over following another rebound off the woodwork, following a screamer from Wada from outside the area in the final minute of the first half, which was just tipped onto the post.

Hirata had another chance to shoot in the 49th minute but shot over when she possibly had time to advance to a better position.  A slick passing move down the right saw Goto slide in for a chance at the other end but she also only succeeded in knocking the ball over the bar.

Urawa were certainly starting to have more possession in the Anclas half with Wada on the right finding little challenge in getting forward to cross or shoot. Arakawa missed while completely free from a Yano pass and running through on goal, her shot just going wide when it seemed it would be a certain goal.

Kira Chinatsu came on and had a shot just go wide in the 63rd minute, the league's joint top scorer having started the game resting on the bench.

Hirata was still a thorn in the Urawa defence’s side though, and again had a chance to shoot in the 67th minute, though it was easily saved. Yamago attempted a clearance which hit the onrushing Kawamura. The rebound went wide but could easily have bounced in.

Kato turned well from a nice pass from Wada but could only steer the ball wide in the 71st minute, with Naomoto Hikari coming on for Urawa to add extra spice to midfield. Three minutes later Anclas had a great chance to equalise but the shot was blocked.

Urawa continued to push forward looking for the goal that would seal the points, with Kato and Goto looking lively and determined. In the 77th minute Wada was replaced by Dozono Ayano in defence. Doshita came on for Kushige for Anclas in the 83rd minute as they tried to attain more possession in midfield to support their attacks. While they were clearly the weaker side, they have made progress since the opening games and again Hirata shot well at Yamago who had to palm the shot over for a corner. Doshita took the corner from the right side and Isokane leapt to score from a header at the far side to send her team mates into raptures. Urawa entered panic mode and attacked relentlessly with Goto shooting straight at the keeper in injury time.

Kato looked to have won it but shot just wide when it seemed she couldn't miss, though she was put under considerable pressure. A nasty facial injury for Shibuya as a result of an elbow from Shibata saw her stretchered off, and with just the 10 women Anclas faced a free kick. After some pinball in the box, Dozono found only the goalkeeper's grateful arms with what proved to be the last chance of the game.

In the end, Urawa had been too casual and their approach allowed Anclas back into the game.

Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Yamago Nozomi, Tsuchihashi Yuki, Kishikawa Natsuki, Yano Kyoko (capt), Wada Naoko, Shibata Hanae, Yanagita Miyuki, Niwata Akiko, Kato Chika, Goto Michi, Arakawa Eriko
Subs: Kira Chinatsu (Arakawa Eriko, 62 mins), Naomoto Hikaru (Niwata Akiko, 70 mins), Dozono Ayano (Wada Naoko, 77 mins)
Unused subs: Ikeda Sakiko, Fujita Nozomi
Scorers: Goto Michi (21 mins)

Fukuoka J. Anclas:
Sawada Norimi, Akiyama Ryo, Uchihori Ritsuko (capt), Isokane Midori, Kiyohara Marie, Kuzuma Riyo, Kawamura Mari, Shibuya Yumiko, Kushige Aoi, Hirata Hikari, Sato Kaede
Subs: Hanada Aiko (Kuzuma Riyo, HT), Fujimoto Yuki (Sato Kaede, 62 mins), Doshita Misato (Kushige Aoi, 83 mins)
Unused subs: Tagashira Yoko
Scorers: Isokane Midori (87 mins)

Albirex Niigata Ladies  0 - 1  JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies
(Attendance: 814)

Niigata made just one change to their side for the visit of JEF United, bringing in Kodama Keiko for Yamazaki Marumi. JEF United welcomed back Ikadai Risa and Hanagiri Naomi to their starting lineup. Niigata won both matches between these two sides last season and must have felt they had enough to do so again on this occasion.

In a game of few chances for either side, it was JEF who came away with the points, and in doing so leapfrog Niigata into fifth place in the table. Hosaka Nodoka scored for the third game running, and it was a goal to grace any occasion. Hosokawa and Ikadai combined with Hosoka and the former Belle player in her first season struck wonderfully over the stretching Otomo.

Niigata's top scorer this season remains Oishi Sayaka with three goals, even though she hasn't played due to injury since the second game of the season. More than anything, this tells the story of Niigata's inability to compete with the top teams.

Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Otomo Maiko (capt), Wakabayashi Minori, Kitahara Kana, Nakamura Kaede, Yamamoto Arina, Saeki Aya, Kawamura Yuri, Kamionobe Megumi, Saito Yuri, Kodama Keiko, Kubota Mayu
Subs: Nakamura Saki (Kodama Keiko, 74 mins), Hirai Sakina (Kubota Mayu, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Suwa Erina, Higashiyama Maiko, Nakaoka Maiko
Booked: Kawamura Yuri

JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies:
Yamane Erina, Takahashi Sachie, Hosokawa Motoyo, Kawamura Mariko, Chino Shoko, Ikadai Risa, Hanagiri Naomi, Kawamura Noriko, Hosaka Nodoka, Yanai Rina, Fukasawa Risa (capt)
Subs: Yamamoto Naomi (Hanagiri Naomi, HT), Shimizu Yuka (Kawamura Noriko, HT), Sakuramoto Naoko (Fukasawa Risa, 85 mins)
Unused subs: Funada Mayu, Tezuka Saori
Scorers: Hosaka Nodoka (71 mins)

Iga FC Kunoichi  2 - 0  Speranza F.C. Osaka Takatsuki
(Attendance: 1,468)

Iga moved into seventh ahead of Sayama today in beating second from bottom Speranza with goals from Matsunaga and Kobayashi. The Kunoichi named an unchanged side from that which drew with JEF United, while Speranza were also unchanged from the side which lost to Beleza in Hokkaido.

Mastunaga, who scored four last season, had her first of this current campaign with a strike in the 37th minute. Following considerable pressure, star midfielder Nasu Maiko found Matsunaga with a nice ball over the top and from an ever-tightening angle she found the back of the net.

Kobayashi, Iga's top scorer and the scorer of the goal last week, was on target again in the 55th minute of this match. Miyasako Tamami - like Nasu a former INAC Kobe player - stormed down the right wing; when her cross was poorly dealt with by the Speranza defence, she simply regained possession and gave a perfect cross for Kobayshi to head in deftly past Suzuki Risa in the Speranza goal.

Speranza mustered barely a meaningful attack in the game, and will need to find better form in the second half of the season if they are to remain a top division side. Iga will be relatively comfortable if they can maintain the sort of play that has seen dividends for them thus far.

Iga FC Kunoichi:
Ono Maya, Miyasako Tamami, Michikura Hiroko, Ono Suzuka (capt), Fujimoto Ayano, Nasu Maiko, Miyamoto Tomomi, Kobayashi Makiko, Tsutsumi Saki, Matsunaga Yoshie, Nakade Hikari
Subs: Sakaguchi Sakie (Tsutsumi Saki, 84 mins), Sonomura Nana (Nakade Hikari, 84 mins), Matsunaga Tomoe (Matsunaga Yoshie, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Kuno Fubuki, Noichi Aya
Scorers: Matsunaga Yoshie (37 mins), Kobayashi Makiko (55 mins)

Speranza F.C. Osaka Takatsuki:
Suzuki Risa, Torao Naomi, Okuda Akiko (capt), Akiba Yumeko, Matsuda Nozomi, Kameoka Natsumi, Itami Emi, Hamada Haruka, Tsuboi Ayako, Maruyama Karina, Shimamura Yuko
Subs: Toyoda Nayuha (Shimamura Yuko, 58 mins)
Unused subs: Ueno Yukiko, Hirano Satoko, Toyama Sayuri, Asano Miki

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