The promotion/relegation playoff between FC Takahashi Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme and AS Elfen Sayama FC will consist of two legs, with the winner over those two legs playing in the Nadeshiko League next season, and with the loser playing in the Challenge League.
First leg result:
FC Takahashi Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme 1 - 0 AS Elfen Sayama FC
FC Takahashi took a giant first step towards promotion to the Nadeshiko League with a 1-0 home win over AS Elfen Sayama in the unfamiliar surroundings of Kasaoka City today. Sayama came into the game in very poor form, having lost nine of their previous ten games, and again they were outrun all over the field. An early chance for Azami Rie again exemplified her potential, but that would be the only chance she would have on goal, and it was well held by Morimoto.
Both sides tried to play neat passing football, but following heavy rain overnight the pitch was not accommodating and both sides struggled to build creatively. Takahashi had more of the play and of the chances, with both Sugita Ami and Nishikawa Asuka determined to add to their considerable goal tallies this season.
For all of FC Takahashi's attacking potential, in the end for it was a defender who scored the goal which gives the students a great lift approaching the second leg. Shigemasa Kai's corner was headed in expertly by Muramatsu Mafuyu, the fourth time this year that she has scored in such a fashion, and team-mates, management and supporters together erupted in celebration. Having had so much pressure without reward, the home side were beginning to feel it was not to be, but they now have no reason to believe that they cannot finish the job in the second leg.
Sayama must now regroup and rethink their strategy, having brought in Nara Misaki for her first start and Kiyohara Yuuko for just her second in an attempt to stifle the students. The second leg - the final match of the league season - takes place in Kumagaya City on Friday, November the 23rd with everything to play for.
FC Takahashi Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Morimoto Kiyo, Takeda Arisa, Matsushita Fumiko, Muramatsu Mafuyu, Koike Ayano, Shigemasa Kai, Takano Saki, Sugita Ami, Nishikawa Asuka, Takahashi Chiho (capt), Noma Fumika
Subs: Adachi Eriko (Noma Fumika, 78 mins), Kamata Ran (Koike Ayano, 90+2 mins)
Unused subs: Yamamoto Ayaka, Tanaka Shiho, Fukui Shihori
Scorer: Muramatsu Mafuyu (86 mins)
AS Elfen Sayama FC:
Arima Shizuka, Yajima Yuki, Shibata Satomi (capt), Takahashi Yuko, Kumagai Sayaka, Azami Rie, Kobayashi Natsumi, Kiyohara Yuuko, Watanabe Ayaka, Suzuki Kaoruko, Nara Misaki
Subs: Saito Yuri (Suzuki Kaoruko, 72 mins), Kawai Nayo (Nara Misaki, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Kobayashi Maiko, Sawada Yuka, Uchida Saki
Booked: Kiyohara Yuuko