AS Elfen Sayama FC 1 - 9 INAC Kobe Leonessa
INAC Kobe travelled to Sayama with a typhoon following them, along with the memory of their near capitulation in their first meeting this year. Sayama brought Hagiwara Aimi in for just her second start instead of Akitaya, while Ji So-Yun returned for INAC in place of Minamiyama. Takenaka Rei retained her place in goal for INAC.
As early as the third minute INAC showed their attacking intent, as they piled forward. A short cross from the right from Kawasumi was volleyed well by Goebel-Yanez but it was shot directly at the 'keeper and she held it well. The home crowd will have felt an away goal was coming, and they didn't have to wait long as Kawasumi found Ohno down the right with a perfect pass through the Sayama defence and having taken control, Ohno's pass across the front of the box was side-footed home by Takase for her twelfth of the season. That goal came in the sixth minute, and a short while later at the other end Azami Rie had Sayama's first shot, though she failed to keep it down and it sailed over the bar.
Kawasumi was giving Watanabe a torrid time down the right and once again she found Ohno running into space in the 15th minute and this time Ohno herself finished the chance off to make it 2-0. Shortly afterwards Ji struck a direct free kick well, but straight at Kobayashi.
Unsurprisingly, almost all of Sayama's good attacking play was coming from Azami on the right wing, but Moros was equal to her in speed and superior in strength, and with little support there wasn't much that Azami could do to create chances.
Sawa Homare was getting herself into good forward positions and hit the crossbar in the 26th minute. The Sayama players were defending in numbers, hoping that rather than mark tightly, with enough of them back they could snuff out danger, though it wasn't working effectively as time and again INAC seemed to have a player free to shoot.
Kawasumi's good work to supply the first two goals was rewarded as she scored the third goal with ten minutes of the half remaining. Good work by Ohno and Goebel-Yanez led to Takase playing in a cross which outfoxed the Sayama defence and Kawasumi was all alone on the far post to tap in. Only five minutes later Kawasumi was again involved down the right as she played in the overlapping Kinga to score.
Neither side made any changes at half-time as INAC Kobe sought to close out the game to keep them five points clear of Beleza in second place. Takase had the first chance but she lost control and the 'keeper took the ball from her feet. INAC were relentless in attack, with opportunities for all of their forward players as Sayama had no response.
Suzuki replaced Saito up front for Sayama in the 54th minute, though they were hardly getting the ball forward at all. As always Azami Rie was the main threat and she shot against the post in the 57th minute, and with Takenaka beaten, it was the home side's best chance of the game thus far. At the other end Goebel-Yanez had a shot easily saved, but she'd been tackled badly in the build up and there were concerns for her ability to continue. Nakajima Emi readied herself on the touchline, while for Sayama Uchida replaced Hagiwara. After an hour Nakajima made her expected entrance, with Goebel-Yanez unable to continue but capable of walking away on her own steam.
A terrible error by Kobayashi in the Sayama goal led to Takase's second and INAC's fifth in the 66th minute. The goalkeeper's pass across the face of goal to Shibata who wasn't expecting it allowed the predatory striker to easily score. Almost immediately Suzuki pulled a goal back as she beat Tanaka by controlling the ball on her chest, turning and sidefooting past Takenaka, for the biggest cheer of the day from the home support. Sayama made their last change in the 71st minute, with Kawai replacing Sawada.
Takase had her hat-trick on 76 minutes, as a short but perfect pass from Ohno to feet saw Takase score her second hat-trick in three games to take her back to the top of the scoring charts. Under-20 star Tanaka came on in the 78th minute for Kawasumi, and at the same time Minamiyama replaced Ji. Within seconds Minamiyama's powerful shot deflected off a defender for the visitors' seventh goal.
Tanaka was determined to make an impression as she had done last week and after intense build-up she had a shot on goal just turned around the post in the closing minutes. A few minutes later and in additional time, she had her goal. Segi had tried to take the ball out of her own box but lost control. Tanaka had the straightforward task of swinging and striking the ball home for her first of the season. Ohno scored the ninth, also in additional time, after another excellent pass onto her chest, this time from Sawa.
INAC Kobe next host JEF United in Kobe fully expecting a win, while Sayama have to wait until Monday the eighth to take on Fukuoka in a game now vital to both.
AS Elfen Sayama FC:
Kobayashi Maiko, Segi Aiki, Shibata Satomi, Takahashi Yuko, Watanabe Ayaka, Azami Rie, Hagiwara Aimi, Kobayashi Natsumi, Sawada Yuka, Saito Yuri, Muraoka Natsuki (capt)
Subs: Suzuki Kaoruko (Saito Yuri, 54 mins), Uchida Saki (Hagiwara Aimi, 59 mins), Kawai Nayo (Sawada Yuka, 71 mins)
Unused subs: Arima Shizuka, Kiyohara Yuuko
Scorers: Suzuki Kaoruko (68 mins)
Booked: Watanabe Ayaka
INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Takenaka Rei, Kinga Yukari, Kai Junko, Tanaka Asuna, Rebecca Moros, Sawa Homare, Ohno Shinobu (capt), Ji So-Yun, Kawasumi Nahomi, Beverly Goebel-Yanez, Takase Megumi
Subs: Tanaka Yoko (Kawasumi Nahomi, 78 mins), Minamiyama Chiaki (Ji So-Yun, 78 mins), Nakajima Emi (Beverly Goebel-Yanez, 61 mins)
Unused subs: Kaihori Ayumi, Nakada Ayu
Scorers: Takase Megumi (6, 66, 76 mins), Ohno Shinobu (15, 90+3 mins), Kawasumi Nahomi (36 mins), Kinga Yukari (41 mins), Minamiyama Chiaki (80 mins), Tanaka Yoko (90+1 mins)
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies 1 - 4 NTV Beleza
JEF United were easily beaten by Beleza, who are determined to keep as much pressure on INAC Kobe at the top of the table as is possible, though with each passing game their chances of regaining the title diminish.
Beleza wasted no time in taking the game to JEF, and Kiryu scored within seven minutes from pass to her from Kobayashi Yayoi following a strong run by Ito Kanako. It remaining 1-0 until the second half, and eight minutes after the restart Nagasato scored Beleza's second. JEF United got themselves back in the game with a goal from Fukusawa, her third of the season.
Beleza were determined not to led their lead slip though, and Tanaka Mina scored with a wondrous shot from the left side to restore the two-goal advantage. Nagasato scored again at the end of the game to record her thirteenth of the season.
Beleza remain five points behind INAC Kobe and need their rivals to drop points in advance of their meeting at the end of the season. Next week they meet Iga in another must-win game, while JEF are next in line for INAC Kobe.
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies:
Funada Mayu, Takahashi Sachie, Hosokawa Motoyo, Kawamura Mariko, Yamamoto Naomi, Ikadai Risa, Hosaka Nodoka, Yanai Rina, Anzai Yuka, Fukasawa Risa (capt), Ogawa Shiho
Subs: Shimizu Yuka (Anzai Yuka, 29 mins), Tezuka Saori (Ikadai Risa, 73 mins), Tsurumi Ayaka (Takahashi Sachie, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Sakuramoto Naoko, Yasuda Saki
Scorers: Fukasawa Risa (74 mins)
Booked: Yanai Rina, Fukasawa Risa, Ikadai Risa
Matsubayashi Miku, Sudo Akiko, Ariyoshi Saori, Kobayashi Misaki, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Hara Natsuko, Ito Kanako, Kiryu Nanase, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Kobayashi Yayoi, Nagasato Asano
Subs: Tanaka Mina (Kobayashi Yayoi, 70 mins), Kobayashi Miharu (Ariyoshi Saori, 88 mins)
Unused subs: Soyama Kanako, Doko Mayo, Nakasato Yu
Scorers: Kiryu Nanase (7 mins), Nagasato Asano (53, 90 mins), Tanaka Mina (76 mins)
Iga FC Kunoichi 1 - 0 Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
In incredibly appalling conditions in Iga, the Kunoichi picked up three valuable points in their quest to finish in the top half of the table. Nasu Maiko scored the only goal in the typhoon, following some good work down the left in extremely trying conditions. Nasu linked up with Tsutsumi and her right-footed drive from Matsunaga's knock down wrong-footed Yamago and gave Iga the win with their only shot on the game. Urawa will have been furious with themselves for having had ten shots themselves with no end product to show for them.
The Saitama side are next at home to Niigata and will hope both for a better result and for better weather. Iga have a difficult away game to Beleza to navigate.
Iga FC Kunoichi:
Ono Maya, Yamaguchi Ayako, Miyasako Tamami, Sato Ai, Fujimoto Ayano, Miyamoto Tomomi, Nasu Maiko, Tsutsumi Saki, Kobayashi Makiko (capt), Matsunaga Yoshie, Nakade Hikari
Subs: Sakaguchi Sakie (Nakade Hikari, 90+3 mins)
Unused subs: Kuno Fubuki, Takeda Yuki, Matsunaga Tomoe, Sonomura Nana
Scorers: Nasu Maiko (20 mins)
Booked: Matsunaga Yoshie, Nakade Hikari
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Yamago Nozomi, Tsuchihashi Yuki, Kohata Shiho, Kishikawa Natsuki, Dozono Ayano, Yanagita Miyuki, Naomoto Hikaru, Niwata Akiko, Kira Chinatsu, Arakawa Eriko (capt), Goto Michi
Subs: Yano Kyoko (Yanagita Miyuki, HT), Saito Akane (Naomoto Hikaru, 67 mins), Fujita Nozomi (Dozono Ayano, 78 mins)
Unused subs: Ikeda Sakiko, Shibata Hanae
Booked: Fujita Nozomi
Albirex Niigata Ladies 3 - 3 Okayama Yunogo Belle
An entertaining game in Niigata saw the teams share the spoils after both sides will have felt they could have won it. Miyama Aya scored her first goal of the second half of the season when the Niigata defence didn't deal properly with the ball and Miyama didn't need a second invitation to strike well off the right post and into the net. However Niigata struck back through Yamazaki, with her fifth goal in three games, as she rose highest to head in Kamionobe's corner kick.
Four minutes into the second half Niigata had the lead, as Kamionobe's cross was hooked into the net for an own goal. Free kick specialist Miyama showed her dead ball skills once again as she equalised five minutes later. Kamionobe had a goal for herself on 71 minutes, once again putting Niigata into the lead with a penalty kick, but six minutes later Matsuoka equalised once again for Belle, following up on a Nakano shot which hit the post and came back out.
Both sides are away next week, with Belle expecting to win in Osaka, and Niigata having a tough trip to Saitama to face Urawa.
Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Otomo Maiko (capt), Wakabayashi Minori, Nakamura Kaede, Hirai Sakina, Yamamoto Arina, Kodama Keiko, Saito Yuri, Kitahara Kana, Yamazaki Marumi, Kamionobe Megumi, Hori Yoshie
Subs: Nakamura Saki (Kodama Keiko, 85 mins)
Unused subs: Suwa Erina, Nakaoka Maiko
Scorers: Yamazaki Marumi (36 mins), Own Goal (49 mins), Kamionobe Megumi (71 mins)
Okayama Yunogo Belle:
Fukumoto Miho (capt), Yasuda Kuniko, Kado Yuka, Sakai Nozomi, Nagamachi Yuri, Takahashi Haruka, Nakano Manami, Nakagawa Chihiro, Miyama Aya, Arimachi Saori, Matsuoka Miki
Subs: Yokoyama Kumi (Nakagawa Chihiro, 81 mins), Yamaguchi Mami (Arimachi Saori, 86 mins)
Unused subs: Shigemoto Shiho, Tsuhako Yumiko, Mizushima Kumi
Scorers: Miyama Aya (7, 54 mins), Matsuoka Miki (77 mins)
Booked: Nakano Manami
Fukuoka J. Anclas 0 - 0 Speranza F.C. Osaka Takatsuki
A game of very few chances saw both sides pick up a point, and neither team will have been happy with the result. Time is running out for these sides to climb out of the relegation places, with the task now extremely difficult for Takatsuki and apparently impossible for Anclas.
Fukuoka J. Anclas:
Sawada Norimi, Uchihori Ritsuko (capt), Isokane Midori, Hanada Aiko, Sato Kaede, Doshita Misato, Kawamura Mari, Kim Kyoung Sin, Kuzuma Riyo, Hirata Hikari, Lee Min Sun
Subs: Tagashira Yoko (Kuzuma Riyo, 70 mins)
Unused subs: Kiyohara Marie, Yanagita Shiori, Akiyama Ryo, Fujimoto Yuki
Booked: Lee Min Sun
Speranza F.C. Osaka Takatsuki:
Suzuki Risa, Okuda Akiko (capt), Tsuboi Ayako, Akiba Yumeko, Torao Naomi, Matsuda Nozomi, Asano Miki, Itami Emi, Hamada Haruka, Maruyama Karina, Takahashi Chizuru
Subs: Shimamura Yuko (Takahashi Chizuru, 66 mins)
Unused subs: Ueno Yukiko, Matsui Miki, Kameoka Natsumi, Toyama Sayuri