Albirex Niigata Ladies 7 - 0 FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme
Niigata had no trouble in beating Kibi - still without a point - though even they cannot have imagined just how easy it would be. Kibi were relatively well organised in the opening twenty minutes, but once they conceded the first goal there would be no way back. Saito Yuri was the scorer of the first, Yamazaki Marumi scored the second ten minutes later and four minutes after the second goal Saeki Aya scored the third, and the game was won by half-time.
All three women would score again in the second half, Yamazaki finishing off her hat-trick in additional time. Kibi's main problem is keeping possession of the ball in midfield and without the possibility of bringing in new players mid-season, relegation seems a certainty.
Kibi welcome Iga next weekend, with Niigata travelling to southern Miyagi to play Vegalta Sendai.
Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Ichitani Tomoko, Obara Yuria, Kitahara Kana, Yamamoto Arina, Kojima Miku, Takahashi Haruka, Saito Yuri, Saeki Aya, Kamionobe Megumi (capt), Sakaguchi Moeno, Yamazaki Marumi
Subs: Oishi Sayaka (Kamionobe Megumi, 58 mins), Takamura Chisato (Obara Yuria, 67 mins), Shimokawa Saori (Sakaguchi Moeno, 78 mins)
Unused subs: Fukumura Kanae, Sayama Momoko, Yamada Shoko, Hirai Sakina
Scorers: Saito Yuri (21, 75 mins), Yamazaki Marumi (31, 56, 90+3 mins), Saeki Aya (35, 60 mins)
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Isashi Kaede, Yoshitake Manami, Nakai Yuna, Takahashi Chiho (capt), Miyake Ayumi, Komatsu Mina, Takano Saki, Takatsuka Ayane, Hamamoto Marin, Nishikawa Asuka, Kurakazu Shiho
Subs: Kanbara Misaki (Komatsu Mina, HT), Kadota Rui (Miyake Ayumi, 64 mins), Fujita Suzuka (Isashi Kaede, 84 mins)
Unused subs: Muramatsu Mafuyu, Noma Fumika
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies 3 - 1 AS Elfen Saitama
Like Kibi, Saitama look destined to be one of the four sides battling relegation at the end of the season and they know that they will have to pick up as many points as possible in the Regular Series to give them a chance of staying up.
The visitors had the best possible start when Ito Kanako scored her third of the season to give Saitama the lead, beating the offside trap off a through pass. The lead lasted barely a minute, Kawamura putting the ball away with the Saitama defence hesitant. Three minutes later JEF United had the lead, Ueno Saki producing a superb pass for Ikadai Risa who chested the ball well before beating both Takahashi and Yamago to finish.
The victory was made certain in the 83rd minute, Sugasawa Yuika heading in Kamogawa's cross following fine play by Hosaka.
Having looked poor in their opening game, JEF United have been something of a revelation, and sit fourth in the table, though they have a much sterner test next weekend when they play leaders Urawa. Saitama are at home to Belle in another difficult challenge.
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies:
Yamane Erina, Wakabayashi Minori, Sakuramoto Naoko (capt), Chino Shoko, Ueno Saki, Anzai Yuka, Setoguchi Kozue, Kawamura Mari, Fukasawa Risa, Ikadai Risa, Sugasawa Yuika
Subs: Hosaka Nodoka (Anzai Yuka, 74 mins), Kamogawa Miho (Ikadai Risa, 81 mins)
Unused subs: Miki Yoshimi, Tsurumi Ayaka, Koike Kokoro, Kitagawa Saki
Scorers: Kawamura Mari (16 mins), Ikadai Risa (19 mins), Sugasawa Yuika (83 mins)
AS Elfen Saitama:
Yamago Nozomi (capt), Azami Rie, Takeda Arisa, Takahashi Yuko, Nara Misaki, Ito Kanako, Uchida Saki, Takeyama Yuko, Saito Yuri, Arakawa Eriko, Suzuki Kaoruko
Subs: Nakano Rino (Saito Yuri, HT), Takahashi Kaho (Suzuki Kaoruko, 70 mins)
Unused subs: Funada Mayu, Utsumi Yui, Saito Natsumi, Hagiwara Aimi, Segi Aiki
Scorers: Ito Kanako (15 mins)
Nippon TV Beleza 0 - 2 Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
Beleza have been extremely poor this season and have had trouble in particular in finding the net - five of their nine goals came in the opening match. Urawa have been better than expected and so this 2-0 win for the away side, for whom this was almost geographically a home game, was not a surprise.
The opening goal came six minutes into the second half, Kira Chinatsu poking home after Beleza goalkeeper Soyama Kanako failed to hold onto Usui's cross. Beleza had controlled the play in the second half and this will have come as a huge blow to their confidence.
Seike Kiko, who was promoted to the senior squad just a matter of weeks ago, quickly made a name for herself and she scored her second career goal with eight minutes remaining, and having just made her entrance to the game. Urawa broke well and Kishikawa found Seike free on the right, and the youngster showed tremendous compsosure to score.
Beleza have now lost three consecutive games and must travel to Kobe on Sunday with more belief. Urawa host JEF United.
Nippon TV Beleza:
Soyama Kanako, Shimizu Risa, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Kinoshita Shiori, Ariyoshi Saori, Hara Natsuko, Hasegawa Yui, Sumida Rin, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Momiki Yuka, Shimada Chiaki
Subs: Kobayashi Yayoi (Sumida Rin, 68 mins), Tanaka Mina (Shimada Chiaki, 82 mins), Kobayashi Miharu (Momiki Yuka, 89 mins)
Unused subs: Yamashita Ayaka, Doko Mayo, Takahashi Saori, Nakasato Yu
Booked: Soyama Kanako
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Hirao Chika, Dozono Ayano, Sakamoto Riho, Kohata Shiho, Usui Rie, Shibata Hanae, Naomoto Hikaru, Kishikawa Natsuki, Kato Chika, Kira Chinatsu, Goto Michi (capt)
Subs: Kurishima Akari (Kira Chinatsu, 70 mins), Seike Kiko (Kurishima Akari, 76 mins), Wada Naoko (Kato Chika, 90 mins)
Unused subs: Tajiri Yumi, Ishii Saki, Saito Akane, Otaki Ami
Scorers: Kira Chinatsu (51 mins), Seike Kiko (82 mins)
Iga FC Kunoichi 0 - 1 INAC Kobe Leonessa
Both sides came into this game having fallen behind the leaders to the extent that a win for either side would not be enough to move them up the table. Iga were in greater need, in the knowledge that they are the more likely to end the Regular Series in the bottom four.
The home side were the more lively in the opening exchanges and showed good passing and movement but their shooting was wayward, INAC looked to the physicality of Takase and the technique of Masuya to create openings, though few presented themselves.
Ogawa Shiho has the best chance after nineteen minutes when Miyake showed dreadful hesitation at the back, but she rushed her shot which went just wide. To this point Iga had attacked almost exclusively down their left though their next chance came down the right, Ogawa again causing trouble which led to a corner kick. That chance came to nothing and at the other end Kyokawa found space for her first real chance to attack but her cross was headed badly wide by Takase.
Miyake was again badly at fault at the back after a break for drinks but Ogawa again failed to make the most of the opportunity. INAC were looking better going forward than in defence, and Nakajima and Masuya were their standout players, though with the half progressing neither side had forced either goalkeeper into making a significant save.
There were but a few more chances for both sides before half-time, but the most significant feature in both teams' minds will have been Miyake's inability to keep pace with Ogawa.
Neither side made any substitutions at half-time and the pattern of the game continued as before. Ito Miki was introduced ten minutes in, replacing Masuya, and she moved to her normal left wing position. Takase was also playing mostly on the left though she wasn't doing particularly well, shooting poorly when on most occasions.
Kobayashi Makiko was Iga's first substitute to come on, replacing Haji in the 65th minute. For INAC Sawa had made more of an impression in an attacking sense and created some openings for her forwards, though they weren't capitalising. At the back they continued to look hesitant and Iga felt that with enough opportunities they would eventually find the goal. Nakada Ayu came on for Kyokawa in the 70th minute as INAC again looked to expand their attacking options.
Sugita Ami had Iga's best chance of the game in the 72nd minute when her volley just in front of goal was just tipped over by Kaihori. Nakajima received a yellow card for a poor challenge on Nasu in the 75th minute, as Iga continued to exert pressure on the INAC goal.
Minamiyama Chiaki found the net somewhat fortuitoulsy, with nice interplay between herself, Noguchi and Takase leading up to the score. Minamiyama shot towards goal and with Nakada and defender Miyasako both missing the ball, Sawada was confused and it rolled over the line almost apologetically. Sugita nearly equalised at the other end moments later but Kaihori did well to parry the shot away.
Tsutsumi came off for Sonomura with eight mintes remaining as the home side desperately sought an equaliser, with Isokane receiving a booking for wasting time. In the end Iga didn't have the quality in front of goal, and have now lost their fourth game of the season. They will expect to win next week against Kibi, but the gap to the top six sides may be too great to close. INAC Kobe are at home next week to Beleza, who are struggling very badly this season.
Iga FC Kunoichi:
Sawada Norimi, Miyasako Tamami, Michikura Hiroko, Ohashi Mio, Kiyohara Marie, Nasu Maiko (capt), Noichi Aya, Haji Madoka, Tsutsumi Saki, Sugita Ami, Ogawa Shiho
Subs: Kobayashi Makiko (Haji Madoka, 65 mins), Sonomura Nana (Tsutsumi Saki, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Kuno Fubuki, Sato Ai, Matsunaga Tomoe, Sakumoto Fumika, Matsunaga Yoshie
INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Kaihori Ayumi, Noguchi Ayaka, Kai Junko, Miyake Shiori, Isokane Midori, Minamiyama Chiaki, Masuya Rika, Sawa Homare, Kyokawa Mai, Takase Megumi (capt), Nakajima Emi
Subs: Ito Miki (Masuya Rika, 56 mins), Nakada Ayu (Kyokawa Mai, 71 mins)
Unused subs: Takenaka Rei, Watanabe Ayaka, Tanaka Yoko
Scorers: Minamiyama Chiaki (80 mins)
Booked: Nakajima Emi, Isokane Midori
Okayama Yunogo Belle 2 - 1 Vegalta Sendai Ladies
Belle have slowly made their way up the table and now sit second after coming from behind to beat Vegalta Sendai at home today. When the Belle defence failed to clear an Uetsuji corner kick to touch, she was on hand to swing another cross in and Yasumoto Sawako headed in past Fukumoto. Belle have come from behind well this year, and it took just fifteen minutes for Matsuoka Miki to find the equaliser, Arimachi and Miyama combining in midfield before the latter produced a fine pass down the middle for Matsuoka to run onto, and she lobbed Saita in the Vegalta goal for her sixth goal of the season.
Six minutes from half time Belle took the lead, and again Matsuoka was the scorer, Arimachi doing all the hard work in beating defenders down the right before pulling the ball back for Matsuoka who had the simplest of tap-ins.
Both sides slowed down in the second half in the summer heat, though Belle continued to create chances but the score remained 2-1 and Vegalta suffered only their second defeat of the season. They host Niigata in Kakuda on Sunday, with both sides on thirteen points. Belle will expect another win in Saitama to go with their impressive victory over Urawa.
Okayama Yunogo Belle:
Fukumoto Miho (capt), Kado Yuka, Hosokawa Motoyo, Mizushima Kumi, Takahashi Sachie, 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, Fushiki Kaho
Scorers: Matsuoka Miki (22, 39 mins)
Vegalta Sendai Ladies:
Saita Yuki (capt), Yamamoto Risa, Osafune Kana, Takahashi Nana, Hamada Haruka, Tahara Nozomi, Kawamura Yuri, Uetsuji Yumi, Yasumoto Sawako, Takara Ryoko, Ono Hitomi
Subs: Kakazu Asuka (Tahara Nozomi, 63 mins), Inoue Ayaka (Ono Hitomi, 74 mins), Sakai Yuki (Yasumoto Sawako, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Saito Ayaka, Sasaki Mayu, Kawashima Haruna, Koyama Kie
Scorers: Yasumoto Sawako (7 mins)
Booked: Uetsuji Yumi