Sfida Setagaya FC 0 - 1 FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme made an impressive claim to continuiung their Nadeshiko League status as they out-fought and out-played Sfida Setagaya in the first leg of their play-off in Tokyo today. From kickoff, Kibi looked to attack with ferocious intent, and Setagaya seemed unable to deal with their tough opponents. Not helping their cause was very poor defensive play on their left side, where time and again Kibi found time and space to attack, almost without challenge. Nishikawa Asuka was in very combative form and the Setagaya defenders couldn't cope with her speed and strength, as she beat the opposition to every fifty-fifty ball, and twice had good chances to score down Setagaya's left. Shigemasa Kai was Kibi's right-sided midfielder and she too was repeatedly allowed to attack without challenge, and eventually in the 38th minute decided to have a go herself and scored with a marvellous shot from outside the area. Setagaya had tried to knock the ball into the Kibi area for their forwards to attack but with Takahashi Chiho completely dominant in the air, this tactic was quickly abandoned.
In the second half Setagaya began to defend their left side more effectively, but still they showed little real quality going forward. One or two chances did present themselves, but the Kibi defence were outstanding, with Isashi Kaede showing calmness and courage in goal. Better chances fell to Kibi, and they will be disappointed not to have scored at least one. Yoshitake Manami shot straight into Kawaguchi's arms and the Setagaya goalkeeper also kept out a rasping shot from Nishikawa.
Kibi picked up three yellow cards as the game became scrappy in the closing stages, with Setagaya desperate to find a winner. Ultimately, Kibi had a Nadeshiko League season's worth of nous and had no real trouble in dealing with everything thrown at them. The two teams meet again next Sunday in Kakogawa, with Sfida Setagaya needing to make serious improvements if they are to be promoted.
Sfida Setagaya FC:
Kawaguchi Mana, Fukuhara Nao, Tanaka Marina (capt), Usui Rie, Nagata Maya, Tomiyama Hitomi, Mori Hitomi, Shano Miki, Nagasawa Yume, Shimojo Aya, Usuda Haruka
Subs: Minemoto Chizuru (Shano Miki, 57 mins), Tanaka Mariko (Usuda Haruka, 66 mins), Mitsuma Mutsumi (Nagasawa Yume, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Osaki Aimi, Okada Ayame
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Isashi Kaede, Yoshitake Manami, Imanishi Azusa, Takahashi Chiho (capt), Takeda Arisa, Sugita Ami, Takano Saki, Shigemasa Kai, Kurakazu Shiho, Noma Fumika, Nishikawa Asuka
Subs: Adachi Eriko (Kurakazu Shiho, 69 mins), Yoshida Mayu (Noma Fumika, 82 mins), Miyake Ayumi (Yoshitake Manami, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Morimoto Kiyo, Hamamoto Marin
Scorers: Shigemasa Kai (38 mins)
Booked: Adachi Eriko, Noma Fumika, Sugita Ami