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

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Challenge League Twenty-First Round

Vegalta Sendai are Challenge League Champions

Tokiwagi Gakuen High School  6 - 4  FC Takahashi Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme
(Attendance: 100)

FC Takahashi travelled to Sendai in good spirits despite having no realistic chance of catching Vegalta Sendai at the top of the table. Morimoto Kiyo started in goal, and Noma Fumika replaced Fukui Shihori in attack for the visitors. Tokiwagi brought in the tall Shiraki Akari to accompany Michigami Ayaka to contend with Takahashi's tall players, Muramatsu Mafuyu and Takahashi Chiho. Horii Mizuki also started the game for Tokiwagi.

The visitors quickly took the lead, former Tokiwagi student Koike Ayano giving the ball to Noma Fumika who scored from quite some distance. A first-time pass from Takahashi put Sugita clear in the box and she scored from the left side just four minutes later to put the away side 2-0 up.

FC Takahashi then enjoyed most of the possession for the rest of the half, but just before half-time three goals changed the complexion of the game. Michigami Ayaka fell inside the area under minimal contact, but the penalty kick was awarded and Michigami herself stepped up to pull a goal back. FC Takahashi were stung by this, and immediately from the restart went on the attack with Koike on the left. Her pinpoint cross found Takahashi and she scored a trademark headed goal. However, Tokiwagi again pulled a goal back as Michigami showed her aerial prowess to head home a Horii corner kick.

Michigami had been linked this week to INAC Kobe, and seemed determined to prove her credentials in this match, attacking with intent and defending bravely. Shortly after the restart her thundering shot against the crossbar fell nicely for Kawasaki Saya to level the game at 3-3.

After twenty minutes more of the second half FC Takahashi found themselves back in front when Takahashi once again headed home, like last week converting a Takano free kick. FC Takahashi must have felt they had done enough to win, but mindful of more important games to come, were not tackling hard or generally straining themselves in the slippery conditions.

Substitute Sasaki Miwa equalised with thirteen minutes remaining for Tokiwagi, and again it was Michigami powering through the FC Takahashi defence who set up Sasaki for the easy finish. Just as the game was petering out and it would seem that the game would end in a 4-4 draw, Ito Miki scored with a header when the ball didn't appear to have crossed the line. FC Takahashi attempted to play on but didn't complain when the referee awarded the goal. Finding themselves behind for the first time, the visitors pushed forward again in a final attempt to equalise, but were punished at the back. Once again Michigami caused trouble at the back with her power and following some confusion and tiredness in the FC Takahashi defence, Sugihara Haruna bundled the ball over the line for an astonishing final score of 6-4 to the hosts, which handed the title to neighbours Vegalta Sendai before they had even kicked off.

Tokiwagi can still finish fifth but are unlikely to do so given that their goal difference is worse than that of rivals the JFA Academy. They are again at home, this time to Ehime to whom they lost earlier in the season. FC Takahashi were unhappy with the result but pleased that they did not pick up any injuries. Next week they play the Academy girls, who have only picked up two yellow cards all year, and thus are ideal opposition to finish on. Their real tests will come in the Nadeshiko League play-off games in November.

The FC Takahashi side which started today against Tokiwagi Gakuen.
Back, left-right: Sugita, Muramatsu, Takeda, Takahashi, Nishikawa, Morimoto
Front, left-right: Koike, Shigemasa, Matsushita, Noma, Takano
Noma gives FC Takahashi the lead within two minutes from long range
For most of the game Tokiwagi coped well with FC Takahashi's aerial threat
Michigami steps up to score the penalty kick she herself won
Takahashi Chiho scores from a Takano Saki free kick to give her side the lead in the second half
Michigami Ayaka wrestles with Takahashi Chiho for the ball

Tokiwagi Gakuen High School:
Hayashizaki Mei, Takamura Chisato, Hirata Miki, Okakura Mika, Nishikawa Ayaka, Okamori Kasane (capt), Kawasaki Saya, Ito Miki, Shiraki Akari, Horii Mizuki, Michigami Ayaka
Subs: Sasaki Miwa (Horii Mizuki, 72 mins), Kosuda Rina (Shiraki Akari, 76 mins), Sugihara Haruna (Kawasaki Saya, 84 mins)
Unused subs: Fukumura Kanae, Matsukubo Akari
Scorers: Michigami Ayaka (44 (pen), 45+1 mins), Kawasaki Saya (49 mins), Sasaki Miwa (77 mins), Ito Miki (89 mins), Sugihara Haruna (90+1 mins)

FC Takahashi Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Morimoto Kiyo, Takeda Arisa, Muramatsu Mafuyu, Matsushita Fumiko, Koike Ayano, Shigemasa Kai, Takano Saki, Nishikawa Asuka, Noma Fumika, Sugita Ami, Takahashi Chiho (capt)
Subs: Fukui Shihori (Nishikawa Asuka, 64 mins), Adachi Eriko (Koike Ayano, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Yamamoto Ayaka, Tachibana Rei, Murakawa Saki
Scorers: Noma Fumika (2 mins), Sugita Ami (6 mins), Takahashi Chiho (45, 69 mins)

Sfida Setagaya FC  0 - 5  Vegalta Sendai Ladies
(Attendance: 813)

Vegalta Sendai won the Challenge League and gained automatic promotion to the Nadeshiko League today, as they defeated Sfida Setagaya by five goals again today in Gunma Prefecture. Vegalta had already won the title before kick-off due to FC Takahashi's loss but didn't know until full-time, and went about attacking Setagaya from the start. Ito Minako wasted no time, giving her side the lead on twelve minutes, glancing in a Kakazu cross when poorly marked by the Setagaya defenders.

Ito doubled the lead six minutes later when a delightful backheeled flick from Sameshima once again found her in space in the box and she easily sidefooted home to the delight of the considerable number of travelling Sendai supporters.

Three late goals put a fitting gloss on the scoreline for the champions, with Osafune Kana heading in after Uetsuji's free kick came back off the underside of the crossbar, Ito had her hat-trick when she followed up on substitute Sakai Yuki's looping header and with two minutes remaining a powerful run from Nakahara Saori saw her power in her eleventh of the season.

Vegalta Sendai play Nittaidai at home next weekend in front of what is expected to be a very large crowd, Setagaya are away to the JSCL hoping to regain third place. A win for Setagaya coupled with a win for Sendai would see Setagaya overtake the students. Ito's three goals today take her to twenty for the season, moving her into second place on the scoring chart above Masuya Rika.

Sfida Setagaya FC:
Kawaguchi Mana, Fukuhara Nao, Okada Ayame, Tanaka Marina, Nagata Maya (capt), Usuda Haruka, Tanaka Mariko, Minemoto Chizuru, Sasago Masae, Mori Hitomi, Nagasawa Yume
Subs: Oshima Sayuri (Usuda Haruka, 62 mins), Ishibuchi Yuki (Sasago Masae, 64 mins), Kuwahara Yoshie (Minemoto Chizuru, 84 mins)
Unused subs: Osaki Aimi, Kawashima Tamai

Vegalta Sendai Ladies:
Amano Misaki, Nakamura Mami, Shimokozuru Aya (capt), Osafune Kana, Ideue Asako, Takahashi Nana, Yasumoto Sawako, Kakazu Asuka, Uetsuji Yumi, Sameshima Aya, Ito Minako
Subs: Nakahara Saori (Kakazu Asuka, 52 mins), Sakai Yuki (Yasumoto Sawako, 78 mins), Yamamoto Risa (Takahashi Nana, 85 mins), Tanaka Keiko (Ideue Asako, 85 mins)
Unused subs: Saita Yuki
Scorers: Ito Minako (12, 18, 82 mins), Osafune Kana (77 mins), Nakahara Saori (88 mins)

Nittaidai Football Club Ladies  1 - 0  AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies
(Attendance: 95)

Oguri Mao scored her seventh goal of the season - her first in a long time - to give Nittaidai the win over Nagano today in Kanagawa, confirming Nagano's participation in the relegation play-offs. Nittaidai move into third as a result, three points ahead of Setagaya. Substitutes Shimada Chiaki and Kudo Asami combined to set up Oguri for her left-footed strike in the 76th minute.

Nittaidai are welcomed to Sendai next weekend, and must be looking forward to playing in front of a large crowd, while Nagano are away to Kagoshima knowing that a win could still get them into eleventh place and possibly an easier play-off opponent.

Nittaidai Football Club Ladies:
Kamimura Aya, Togashi Kaori, Toriyabe Kozue, Ozeki Miyu, Abe Rie, Ishii Chiharu, Oguri Mao, Shimokawa Saori (capt), Ito Yukina, Maegami Eri, Sato Minami
Subs: Yamaguchi Minami (Mitsui Arina, 55 mins), Shimada Chiaki (Ito Yukina, 61 mins), Kudo Asami (Sato Minami, 64 mins), Kitano Rie (Ishii Chiharu, 85 mins)
Unused subs: Yamamoto Arisa
Scorers: Oguri Mao (76 mins)

AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies:
Matsumoto Azumi, Murayama Yuri, Tanaka Nami, Hatano Saki, Yamashita Mayumi, Hashiura Satsuki, Satou Kaede, Takagi Nao (capt), Hamagaki Kana, Uchiyama Tomoyo, Urasaki Yuka
Subs: Sayama Marina (Murayama Yuri, 90 mins)
Unused subs: Kitagawa Minamo, Hanabusa Misa

JFA Academy Fukushima  1 - 0  Japan Soccer College Ladies
(Attendance: 60)

Under pressure JSCL couldn't find the win that would have taken them above Bunnys and out of the relegation zone, instead succumbing to a Miyake Shiori goal in the 90th minute following tremendous build-up play between Norimatsu and Narumiya. The Academy had started with Hirao Chika in goal for the first time since the Under-17 World Cup.

The Academy move to within two points of Setagaya in fourth, and stay three points ahead of rivals Tokiwagi Gakuen who are sixth. Their last game is against play-off bound FC Takahashi. JSCL must win against Setagaya to have a chance of avoiding a relegation play-off.

JFA Academy Fukushima:
Hirao Chika, Yamamori Anna, Miyake Shiori (capt), Norimatsu Ruka, Yoshitake Manami, Moriya Miyabi, Mizutani Yuki, Narumiya Yui, Kojima Miku, Sunaga Manami, Masuya Rika
Subs: Kadoi Megumi (Moriya Miyabi, 69 mins), Kojima Hikaru (Sunaga Manami, 66 mins), Mori Sayaka (Yamamori Anna, 73 mins)
Unused subs: Inoue Nene
Scorers: Miyake Shiori (90 mins)

Japan Soccer College Ladies:
Fukada Ayami, Hayashimoto Saki, Takahashi Sakura, Usui Rika, Sakaguchi Yuki, Iwasaki Manami, Kato Yoshimi, Kusakari Ayako, Sasaki Shiori, Toriumi Mai (capt), Nakayama Aoi
Subs: Shinagawa Ayaka (Nakayama Aoi, 79 mins)
Unused subs: Goto Sanae, Nishioka Nana, Matsumoto Hotaru, Toyota Yuri

Shizuoka Sangyo University Iwata Bonita  0 - 1  Ehime FC Ladies
(Attendance: 187)

In the fight for seventh place in the table, Shizuoka brought Takahashi Miharu into goal, with joint top-scorer Oda Kanna also back starting after two recent substitute appearances. Ehime brought Ogawa Manami back into midfield, replacing Marugata Rie. Both sides had 23 points going into the game but with Ehime's goal difference being vastly superior to that of Shizuoka, the home side had to go for a win.

One goal separated the sides in the end, and it was local girl Iwamoto Yuka who scored the winner when following up after goalkeeper Takahashi hadn't dealt with Nakada Maiko's shot well. Shizuoka were on top for most of the game but couldn't find a way through the Ehime defence.

Ehime thus move three points clear of Shizuoka with a goal difference nineteen better ahead of their final game away to resurgent Tokiwagi Gakuen. Shizuoka travel to Kyoto to take on Bunnys.

Shizuoka Sangyo University Iwata Bonita:
Takahashi Miharu, Nishiyama Mei, Kitaoka Chiaki, Kanefuda Anzu (capt), Ishida Risa, Kanno Mie, Sayama Momoko, Suzuki Rina, Ito Mari, Okuda Mika, Oda Kanna
Subs: Atsumi Yuka (Kanno Mie, 54 mins), Takahata Airi (Okuda Mika, 72 mins), Shirai Aoi (Suzuki Rina, 77 mins), Ogata Yurika (Oda Kanna, 84 mins)
Unused subs: Maehara Ringo
Booked: Takahashi Miharu

Ehime FC Ladies:
Mitsuhira Shiori, Kushiyama Saki, Onoyama Nana, Nishigawa Sayumi, Ogawa Akari, Iwamoto Yuka, Yamashiro Miyuki, Haruyama Saori, Ogawa Manami, Akune Mana, Nakada Maiko (capt)
Subs: Niwa Mizuho (Ogawa Manami, 84 mins)
Unused subs: Osako Hanako, Kikuchi Riho, Konishi Natsuki, Uesato Saki
Scorers: Iwamoto Yuka (48 mins)

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