In brilliant sunshine in Matsushima, near Sendai, the stage was set for a pivotal match in both sides' league campaigns. Vegalta Sendai were unbeaten coming into this game, while Takahashi, four points behind largely due to their home loss to Vegalta, came into this clash having shown their credentials with an eight goal demolition of JSCL. Kurakazu Shiho scored two of those goals in her first start, and she retained her place with Kanbara Misaki also coming into the side.
There was little between the sides in the early stages, but the game exploded into life when on ten minutes Takahashi won a corner and the tall Muramatsu Mafuyu leapt higher than everyone to score rather easily - her third goal from a corner kick set-piece in the last three games. For the rest of the half Vegalta looked to attack at every opportunity, with the stunned home crowd trying to lift their heroines. Yasumoto Sawako had replaced the injured Ito Minako as early as the nineteenth minute and she led the line, though the much taller Takahashi defenders dealt comfortably with Vegalta's aerial attack.
Takahashi became more defensive in the second half and looked to hit Vegalta on the break. Nishikawa Asuka - nicknamed "The Monster" - caused the Vegalta defence problems all afternoon with her power and aggression, and in the 71st minute joint top-scorer Takahashi Chiho joined the fray. Within a few minutes she found Takano Saki and her cross field ball to the left found Kurakazu with space and time. Although slightly slipping upon shooting, Amano Misaki in the Vegalta net could not get near the ball to prevent the shock 2-0 scoreline.
From this point on, Takahashi became extremely defensive, bringing on Kamata Ran in defence. However, this only invited Vegalta to attack in numbers, and finally in the 83rd minute Sakai Yuki powered her way through to score. With the home players and supporters lifted, Vegalta piled on the pressure and following a goal-line clearance from a Kakazu shot, Vegalta came forward in numbers for the resulting corner kick. Sakai rose powerfully and headed in the equaliser with four minutes remaining. Though continuing to come forward looking for a winner, Vegalta will feel relieved to have taken a point.
Takahashi go back to Okayama with their heads held high, and their players certainly enjoyed the occasion in front of a passionate crowd. The four point gap remains, and with Nittaidai closing to within one point after their victory, the pressure is still on the top two. With eight games remaining, both sides will look at their schedules and feel reasonably confident of finishing in their current positions.
Vegalta Sendai Ladies:
Amano Misaki, Nakamura Mami, Sakai Yuki, Osafune Kana, Ideue Asako, Shimokozuru Aya (capt), Uetsuji Yumi, Kakazu Asuka, Ono Hitomi, Nakahara Saori, Ito Minako
Subs: Yasumoto Sawako (Ito Minako, 19 mins), Tanaka Keiko (Nakahara Saori, 80 mins)
Unused subs: Saita Yuki, Yamamoto Risa, Takahashi Nana
Scorers: Sakai Yuki (83, 86 mins)
FC Takahashi Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Yamamoto Ayaka, Takeda Arisa, Imanishi Azusa, Muramatsu Mafuyu, Koike Ayano (capt), Shigemasa Kai, Kanbara Misaki, Takano Saki, Sugita Ami, Kurakazu Shiho, Nishikawa Asuka
Subs: Takahashi Chiho (Kanbara Misaki, 71 mins), Kamata Ran (Shigemasa Kai, 80 mins)
Unused subs: Sakamoto Aoi, Tanaka Shiho, Matsushita Fumiko
Scorers: Muramatsu Mafuyu (10 mins), Kurakazu Shiho (76 mins)
Booked: Shigemasa Kai
|Yamamoto stretches for the ball following a Vegalta corner|
|Takahashi's Takano (10) looks to find Kanbara (27) while under pressure|
from Yasumoto (11) who replaced Ito Minako early in the game
|Nishikawa (8) looks to take control in midfield.|
The Japan U-20 representative caused trouble for Vegalta all afternoon.
|Until the final moments the Takahashi defence were|
dominant in the air against Sendai's strikers.
|Yamamoto kept command of her penalty area throughout the game.|
Je Vrille Kagoshima 0 - 2 Nittaidai Football Club Ladies
Nittaidai closed the gap to Takahashi to one point with two late goals to beat Je Vrille Kagoshima, condemning their hosts to their ninth loss of the season.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 84th minute when Yamagata headed against the crossbar from a Shimada corner kick and Nagashima was there to apply the finish. Just on 90 minutes Uemura Shoko scored her ninth of the season to seal the win.
Je Vrille Kagoshima:
Eguchi Mika, Miyazako Fumika, Kurahara Honami, Nakae Maki (capt), Hamada Erina, Shimada Naoko, Niiho Madoka, Nozaki Ayumi, Sannomiya Shiki, Nakashima Ayaka, Imanaka Yuri
Subs: Nijima Yuki (Shimada Naoko, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Mitsudome Kanami, Moriwaki Satsuki
Booked: Sannomiya Shiki
Nittaidai Football Club Ladies:
Aoyagi Maririn, Yamagata Hisami, Togashi Kaori, Nagashima Hikari, Fujisawa Marin, Oguri Mao, Shimokawa Saori (capt), Kitano Rie, Takashima Ruriko, Shimada Chiaki, Ito Yukina
Subs: Uemura Shoko (Kitano Rie, 63 mins), Abe Rie (Ito Yukina, 71 mins), Kudo Asami (Oguri Mao, 81 mins), Ozeki Miyu (Uemura Shoko, 90+2 mins)
Unused subs: Yamamoto Arisa
Scorers: Nagashima Hikari (84 mins), Uemura Shoko (90 mins)
Japan Soccer College Ladies 3 - 3 Ehime FC Ladies
JSCL have yet to win a game this season and will have regretted not seeing out this tie when 2-0 up with just over twenty minutes remaining. Captain Toriumi Mai scored both JSCL goals, and both were created by Iwasaki Manami. In the twelve minutes between the 69th and 81st minute Ehime scored thrice to turn the game around, their top scorer Nakada Maiko scored the first and then substitute Uesato Saki scored her first two goals this season, both coming within a minute of each other.
Having relinquished the lead, the JSCL players found the courage to come back to rescue a point when the creator of the first two goals, Iwasaki Manami hit a first time shot past Osako Hanako for a precious point.
JSCL stay bottom with just three points, while Ehime are mid-table with fifteen.
Japan Soccer College Ladies:
Fukada Ayami, Hayashimoto Saki, Usui Rika, Takahashi Sakura, Sakaguchi Yuki, Nakayama Aoi, Shanou Miki, Matsumoto Hotaru, Sasaki Shiori, Toriumi Mai (capt), Iwasaki Manami
Unused subs: Goto Sanae, Nishioka Nana, Kusakari Ayako, Sakai Manami, Toyota Yuri
Scorers: Toriumi Mai (40, 52 mins), Iwasaki Manami (82 mins)
Ehime FC Ladies:
Osako Hanako, Hagiwara Masumi, Onoyama Nana, Marugata Rie, Ogawa Akari, Iwamoto Yuka, Yamashiro Miyuki, Nishigawa Sayumi, Haruyama Saori, Akune Mana, Nakada Maiko (capt)
Subs: Matsuyama Miki (Marugata Rie, HT mins), Uesato Saki (Akune Mana, 69 mins)
Unused subs: Konishi Natsuki, Ogawa Manami, Senba Yuna
Scorers: Nakada Maiko (69 mins), Uesato Saki (80, 81 mins)
Shizuoka Sangyo University Iwata Bonita 0 - 7 Sfida Setagaya FC
Sfida Setagaya have frustrated their supporters this year, sometimes showing incredible attacking flair and intent and at other times succumbing to relatively weak opposition meekly. Today was a day they showed their better side, as they made a mockery of Shizuoka's decent defensive record, and of the defeat they suffered early in the season.
By half-time the score was 6-0 and both Maehara Ringo in goal and Ito Mari were substituted. The six Setagaya goals came from Oshima Sayuri with her fourth goal in four games, three from Nagasawa Yume - doubling her season's total - and one each from Fukuhara Nao and Ishibuchi Yuki. Ishibuchi scored another in the second half to take her total to eleven for the season.
Setagaya will feel confident of being able to take this kind of form into their next match against Kagoshima, while Shizuoka will be desperate to steady things at the back against JFA Academy on Monday.
Shizuoka Sangyo University Iwata Bonita:
Maehara Ringo, Nishiyama Mei, Kitaoka Chiaki, Kanefuda Anzu (capt), Komagata Nana, Ito Mari, Suzuki Rina, Sayama Momoko, Shirai Aoi, Okuda Mika, Oda Kanna
Subs: Takahashi Miharu (Maehara Ringo, HT), Kanno Mie (Ito Mari, HT), Kinpara Reika (Kanefuda Anzu, 76 mins)
Unused subs: Hirata Misato, Matsuno Miyuki
Booked: Kanefuda Anzu, Takahashi Miharu
Sfida Setagaya FC:
Kawaguchi Mana, Fukuhara Nao, Kawashima Tamai, Tanaka Marina, Nagata Maya, Oshima Sayuri, Tanaka Mariko, Mori Hitomi, Sasago Masae, Ishibuchi Yuki, Nagasawa Yume
Subs: Usuda Haruka (Mori Hitomi, HT), Ishizaki Miu (Fukuhara Nao, 58 mins), Uchiyama Tomoka (capt) (Nagasawa Yume, 72 mins), Kojima Erina (Oshima Sayuri, 78 mins), Osaki Aimi (Kawaguchi Mana, 85 mins)
Scorers: Oshima Sayuri (5 mins), Nagasawa Yume (15, 30, 44 mins), Fukuhara Nao (36 mins), Ishibuchi Yuki (38, 62 mins)
Bunnys Kyoto SC 0 - 3 JFA Academy Fukushima
Masuya Rika scored another hat-trick today to take her season's total to 15, and her impressive shots to goals ratio to 41.7% (15 goals from 36 shots). Bunnys tried hard but were unable to compete, and have now gone five games without scoring.
Masuya's first goal came six minutes before half-time, with the ever-present Mizutani Yuki giving the final ball. Her second and third goal came in the 50th and 74th minutes, with Mizutani again supplying the final pass for the last goal, and Moriya Miyabi back in the side with the assist for the second goal.
Bunnys next travel the considerable distance to Sendai to play Tokiwagi Gakuen, while the Academy girls are at home to Shizuoka on the Marine Day game (Monday).
Bunnys Kyoto SC:
Akiyama Tomomi, Hanazaki Rena, Fujino Aiko, Ii Kiyono, Sada Fumika, Ukita Kotone, Yamashita Yu, Watanabe Juri, Miyai Mina, Kinjo Keina, Miura Kyoko (capt)
Subs: Kawachi Erika (Kinjo Keina, 61 mins)
Unused subs: Isashi Kaede, Yanagimura Ayano, Fujimoto Ami
JFA Academy Fukushima:
Inoue Nene, Moriya Miyabi, Yamamori Anna (capt), Norimatsu Ruka, Yoshitake Manami, Kojima Hikaru, Mizutani Yuki, Narumiya Yui, Kadoi Megumi, Kojima Miku, Masuya Rika
Subs: Sunaga Manami (Kojima Miku, 72 mins)
Unused subs: Hirao Chika, Mori Sayaka
Scorers: Masuya Rika (39, 50, 74 mins)
AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies 1 - 3 Tokiwagi Gakuen High School
Having not scored in the previous four games, and having been clearly disappointed after the loss to Vegalta Sendai, Michigami Ayaka needed to pick herself up and she did so in emphatic fashion against Nagano today, scoring her first hat-trick since the fourth game of the season.
It wasn't until the 43rd minute that Michigami opened her account however, in the face of strong defensive resilience. Taking a pass from Matsuura Nagisa, she powered her way through to score. Nagano had an equaliser ten minutes into the second half though, Urasaki Yuka getting on the end of a Hamagaki pass to score her fourth of the season, and in the process become her side's lone leading scorer.
Nagano desperately needed a point to move them away from the bottom, but it was not to be as Michigami scored again in the 70th minute and then secured her hat-trick in the second minute of additional time, with Ito and Horii providing the final balls.
Tokiwagi will expect to win again next weekend when they host Bunnys Kyoto, while Nagano have the daunting task of taking on Takahashi.
AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies:
Matsumoto Azumi, Murayama Yuri, Tanaka Nami, Yamashita Mayumi, Sayama Marina, Urasaki Yuka, Satou Kaede, Takagi Nao (capt), Hamagaki Kana, Uchiyama Tomoyo, Hashiura Satsuki
Subs: Hanabusa Misa (Hamagaki Kana, 73 mins), Nomoto Hanako (Urasaki Yuka, 79 mins), Kitagawa Minamo (Nomoto Hanako, 84 mins)
Scorers: Urasaki Yuka (55 mins)
Tokiwagi Gakuen High School:
Hayashizaki Mei, Takamura Chisato, Okamori Kasane (capt), Okakura Mika, Nishikawa Ayaka, Hirata Miki, Kosuda Rina, Ito Miki, Horii Mizuki, Matsuura Nagisa, Michigami Ayaka
Subs: Sasaki Miwa (Horii Mizuki, HT), Kawasaki Saya (Kosuda Rina, HT), Sugihara Haruna (Sasaki Miwa, 80 mins), Kakinoki Runa (Nishikawa Ayaka, 86 mins), Matsukubo Akari (Okakura Mika, 87 mins)
Scorers: Michigami Ayaka (43, 70, 92 mins)
Booked: Kosuda Rina