Albirex Niigata Ladies 0 - 1 Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
In a game of very few scoring chances, in particular for the home side, Urawa took home all three points to keep themselves three points clear at the top of the table. Sakamoto came back into the Urawa starting lineup in place of Usui Rie, with Niigata unchanged.
The only goal of the game came after fifteen minutes, Kira Chinatsu putting away her second of the season. A straightforward clearance was missed entirely by a Niigata defender and Kira was on hand to score easily.
Urawa's next challenge is to see off the in-form Okayama Yunogo Belle at home, while Niigata also play in Saitama, away to struggling AS Elfen Saitama.
Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Ichitani Tomoko, Takamura Chisato, Yamamoto Arina, Sayama Momoko, Obara Yuria, Kamionobe Megumi (capt), Saito Yuri, Saeki Aya, Yamazaki Marumi, Kodama Keiko, Hirai Sakina
Subs: Sakaguchi Moeno (Saeki Aya, 64 mins), Takahashi Haruka (Kodama Keiko, 71 mins), Yamada Shoko (Saito Yuri, 81 mins)
Unused subs: Fukumura Kanae, Shimokawa Saori, Oishi Sayaka, Kubota Mayu
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Ikeda Sakiko, Sakamoto Riho, Norimatsu Ruka, Kohata Shiho, Dozono Ayano, Shibata Hanae, Naomoto Hikaru, Fujita Nozomi, Kato Chika, Kira Chinatsu, Goto Michi (capt)
Subs: Seike Kiko (Kira Chinatsu, 78 mins), Kurishima Akari (Kato Chika, 84 mins), Wada Naoko (Naomoto Hikaru, 90+1 mins)
Unused subs: Hirao Chika, Saito Akane, Kishikawa Natsuki, Otaki Ami
Scorers: Kira Chinatsu (15 mins)
AS Elfen Saitama 0 - 4 Iga FC Kunoichi
A crushing victory for Iga away to Saitama gave them their first win and some relief ahead of their trip to high-flying Vegalta Sendai. The Kunoichi were unchanged but Saito Yuri returned for Saitama, with Sugiyama Takako returning to the bench.
Iga have hitherto had trouble scoring, though against poor opposition were quickly into their stride, Kobayashi Makiko scoring her first of the season after within minutes. A hoofed ball from Yamaguchi Ayako was picked up by Ogawa Shiho close to the goal line and having beaten her marker she slid the ball delicately to the near post when Kobayashi had no trouble beating Yamago.
Saitama tried hard throughout the first half but Iga held firm and in the second half the home side had no answer to the relenting Iga pressure. With less than a minute of the second period played, a layoff from Ogawa found Sugita Ami bursting into the area, and she was awarded a penalty when felled by Takeyama Yuko. Sugita's teammates insisted she take the kick herself and everyone was suitable delighted when she scored her first ever goal for the club, placing the ball into the bottom left as is her custom.
Three minutes later the match was decided as Matsunaga Yoshie found the net for her first goal of the season. A fine cross from Kobayashi found Tsutsumi and her gently weighted ball to Matsunaga saw her finish with aplomb.
A fourth goal for Iga, and a second for Sugita, rounded off a perfect day for the visitors. Again Saitama struggled down the right, and Ogawa had no trouble finding Haji Madoka free in the box, and she in turn found Sugita unmarked in front of goal and she made no mistake.
Iga hope to continue their good form away to Vegalta Sendai, while Saitama will hope to be more defensively sound as they again play at home next weekend, this time against Niigata.
AS Elfen Saitama:
Yamago Nozomi (capt), Takeda Arisa, Utsumi Yui, Takeyama Yuko, Nara Misaki, Ito Kanako, Hagiwara Aimi, Saito Yuri, Azami Rie, Yamazaki Sayuri, Nakano Rino
Subs: Sugiyama Takako (Hagiwara Aimi, 33 mins), Takahashi Kaho (Takeyama Yuko, 61 mins), Uchida Saki (Yamazaki Sayuri, 76 mins)
Unused subs: Funada Mayu, Saito Natsumi, Akitaya Misato, Segi Aiki
Booked: Nakano Rino
Iga FC Kunoichi:
Sawada Norimi, Miyasako Tamami, Michikura Hiroko, Ohashi Mio, Yamaguchi Ayako, Nasu Maiko (capt), Matsunaga Tomoe, Kobayashi Makiko, Tsutsumi Saki, Matsunaga Yoshie, Ogawa Shiho
Subs: Sugita Ami (Matsunaga Tomoe, HT), Haji Madoka (Matsunaga Yoshie, 62 mins), Noichi Aya (Tsutsumi Saki, 74 mins)
Unused subs: Kuno Fubuki, Sato Ai
Scorers: Kobayashi Makiko (3 mins), Sugita Ami (47 mins (pen), 76 mins), Matsunaga Yoshie (50 mins)
Nippon TV Beleza 0 - 1 Okayama Yunogo Belle
The visiting Okayama Yunogo Belle restricted Beleza to only three shots in their first meeting of the season and took home all three points as they moved up to third in the table. Matsuoka Miki was again the scorer for Belle, as she capitalised on defensive errors and uncertainty to score her fourth of the season.
Arimachi Saori won the ball and found Asano Miki free on the right wing. Her cross across the face of goal was missed by Shimizu who got caught up in a tangle with Nakano and Matsuoka was all alone and scored very easily.
Miyama Aya hit the crossbar in Belle's best chance in the second half, and with Beleza struggling to get anything going up front, the visitors were able to hang on for a very welcome victory. Belle again travel to Kanto next weekend, when they face leaders Urawa. Beleza make the short trip to Ichihara to take on JEF United at noon on Saturday.
Nippon TV Beleza:
Soyama Kanako, Shimizu Risa, Doko Mayo, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Ariyoshi Saori, Hara Natsuko, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Sumida Rin, Kobayashi Miharu, Momiki Yuka, Tanaka Mina
Subs: Nakasato Yu (Doko Mayo, HT), Shimada Chiaki (Tanaka Mina, 71 mins), Hasegawa Yui (Sumida Rin, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Yamashita Ayaka, Takahashi Saori, Kobayashi Yayoi, Kinoshita Shiori
Okayama Yunogo Belle:
Fukumoto Miho (capt), Kado Yuka, Hosokawa Motoyo, Fushiki Kaho, Mizushima Kumi, Kuzuma Riyo, Nakano Manami, Miyama Aya, Asano Miki, Arimachi Saori, Matsuoka Miki
Unused subs: Hayashizaki Mei, Taniguchi Kikumi, Kawano Saki, Kitaura Miho, Nakada Maiko, Tanaka Mayu
Scorers: Matsuoka Miki (25 mins)
Booked: Kado Yuka
INAC Kobe Leonessa 1 - 1 JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies
INAC Kobe brought Isokane back into defence replacing Watanabe Ayaka, with Tanaka Yoko making way for Nakada Ayu. JEF United made one change, bringing in Anzai Yuka for Hosaka Nodoka.
Kyokawa Mai looked lively on the left early in the game and almost found Takase in front of goal but the JEF defence was sound. On the right, Takase continued to find herself in space as INAC began to boss midfield.
For JEF, much of their energy was coming from Anzai Yuka and her interception and ambitious forward run allowed Sugasawa to get a good shot off. From the resulting corner JEF took the lead, with Setoguchi Kozue scoring her very first League goal. Kaihori couldn't reach the ball and Setoguchi didn't wait to strike the ball home from well outside the area, with a deflection off Kyokawa helping it past Kaihori.
Having started with much hurry and bluster, INAC Kobe looked unsure of themselves following the concession of this goal and JEF United started to disrupt their illustrious opponents in midfield. In the 30th minute Ikadai hit the inside of the post when sent clear by Fukusawa, who had intercepted the ball well.
INAC had little by way of response to this state of affairs and it wasn't until the 38th minute that they had another decent attacking opportunity, the ball dropping loose after Yamane had failed to collect a cross, though Isokane is not known for scoring and her shot was well wide.
No changes were made by either side at half-time, and JEF again went relentlessly on the attack, with Anzai Yuka again causing all kinds of trouble down the right. INAC's younger players such as Masuya and Kyokawa looked the most likely to do damage for INAC though the JEF defence remained strong and resolute.
JEF continued throughout the half to dominate INAC in the midfield, intercepting passes almost at will as INAC's players increasingly looked uninterested. Ito Miki and Watanabe Ayaka came on for the home side in the 63rd minute for Nakada and Minamiyama.
INAC continued to rely on Masuya's speed down the right and she played in Takase for another shot at goal, but it was weak and at a very tight angle and presented no danger to Yamane. Kawamura had done well to continue following her injury but was taken off in the 66th minute, replaced by Hosaka.
In the 73rd minute Takase had a good heading chance as Yamane flapped at a Noguchi cross but there was no one to pick up the loose ball and JEF cleared. It was Yamane to the rescue again as Kyokawa powered in a header from Nakajima's free kick in the 82nd minute, but it was the JEF goalkeeper's mistake that allowed Takase to equalise, rushing out from her goal to intercept a Nakajima through ball and Takase was able to lob the ball over her to score.
Anzai was replaced by Matsuura for the final few minutes as JEF were caught in two minds: whether to attack and claim all three points or whether to hold on for a draw against a revitalised opposition. In the end INAC were finishing the stronger and JEF did well to keep their shape and claim the point, though they will feel that they deserved all three.
INAC Kobe again looked lethargic in this game though will expect three points away to Kibi next weekend, while JEF United will be full of hope as they welcome Beleza, who lost for the first time today.
INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Kaihori Ayumi, Noguchi Ayaka, Kai Junko, Miyake Shiori, Isokane Midori, Minamiyama Chiaki, Nakajima Emi, Masuya Rika, Kyokawa Mai, Takase Megumi (capt), Nakada Ayu
Subs: Watanabe Ayaka (Minamiyama Chiaki, 63 mins), Ito Miki (Nakada Ayu, 63 mins)
Unused subs: Takenaka Rei, Yamada Maho, Tanaka Yoko
Scorers: Takase Megumi (83 mins)
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies:
Yamane Erina, Chino Shoko, Sakuramoto Naoko (capt), Wakabayashi Minori, Ueno Saki, Setoguchi Kozue, Kawamura Mari, Anzai Yuka, Ikadai Risa, Fukasawa Risa, Sugasawa Yuika
Subs: Hosaka Nodoka (Kawamura Mari, 66 mins), Matsuura Nagisa (Anzai Yuka, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Nemoto Mio, Tsurumi Ayaka, Koike Kokoro, Shimada Ayako
Scorers: Setoguchi Kozue (15 mins)
Booked: Ikadai Risa, Chino Shoko
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme 0 - 3 Vegalta Sendai Ladies
Kibi fell to another defeat and had very few positives to take away from this loss to Vegalta Sendai. Kibi rotated goalkeepers again, Isashi Kaede coming in for Morimoto Kiyo and Noma Fumika started up front in place of Kurakazu Shiho. Kakazu Asuka made her first starting appearance for Sendai this season, replacing Yasumoto Sawako.
Sendai's attacking strength was too much for Kibi to withstand, and they eventually found the breakthrough in the 31st minute, Ono Hitomi scoring her second goal of the season Takara Ryoko after good interplay between the Sendai midfield and attack.
Hamada Haruka had her first goal in Sendai colours in the 58th minute, when she finished off after Isashi failed to hold onto Yamamoto's header. Takara Ryoko scored her first of the season, flighting a fine ball into the corner of the net, Kibi having failed to clear the ball from a succession of corner kicks. Later, there was more good news for Sendai as Koyama Kie made her first appearance in over a year following injury.
Vegalta Sendai stay second, and next Sunday entertain Iga, with Kibi hoping for something extraordinary at home to INAC Kobe Leonessa.
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Isashi Kaede, Eguchi Mika, Takahashi Chiho (capt), Muramatsu Mafuyu, Oka Misako, Takano Saki, Takatsuka Ayane, Yoshitake Manami, Hamamoto Marin, Nishikawa Asuka, Noma Fumika
Subs: Kurakazu Shiho (Hamamoto Marin, 62 mins), Adachi Eriko (Oka Misako, 65 mins), Komatsu Mina (Takatsuka Ayane, 79 mins)
Unused subs: Morimoto Kiyo, Nakai Yuna, Miyake Ayumi, Tachibana Mami
Vegalta Sendai Ladies:
Saita Yuki (capt), Yamamoto Risa, Osafune Kana, Takahashi Nana, Hamada Haruka, Kakazu Asuka, Kawamura Yuri, Uetsuji Yumi, Tahara Nozomi, Takara Ryoko, Ono Hitomi
Subs: Yasumoto Sawako (Tahara Nozomi, 56 mins), Sasaki Mayu (Hamada Haruka, 71 mins), Koyama Kie (Kakazu Asuka, 75 mins)
Unused subs: Saito Ayaka, Inoue Ayaka
Scorers: Ono Hitomi (31 mins), Hamada Haruka (58 mins), Takara Ryoko (62 mins)
Booked: Hamada Haruka