Vegalta Sendai Ladies 0 - 1 Nippon TV Beleza
Another a very uneventful first half, both sides came out with more attacking verve after the break though it wasn't until the final seconds that the breakthrough came, with Beleza's two substitutes making the difference. From a corner kick on the left, Kobayashi Yayoi swung the ball in and Tanaka Mina headed in for her first goal of the season, which had hitherto been unsatisfactory.
Vegalta Sendai have now lost four of their last five games, and have only picked up two points from a possible eighteen, to leave them in danger of entering the relegation zone for the Exciting Series. Beleza, for their part, have now won four in a row and are now within six points of the top.
Vegalta Sendai travel south to face Saitama in a crucial match for both sides, with Beleza hosting Iga in a confident mood and will expect three points.
Vegalta Sendai Ladies:
Saito Ayaka, Sakai Yuki, Yamamoto Risa, Osafune Kana, Hamada Haruka, Yasumoto Sawako, Kawamura Yuri, Uetsuji Yumi (capt), Kakazu Asuka, Koyama Kie, Ono Hitomi
Subs: Tahara Nozomi (Yasumoto Sawako, 34 mins), Inoue Ayaka (Ono Hitomi, 74 mins), Takara Ryoko (Koyama Kie, 85 mins)
Unused subs: Saita Yuki, Takahashi Nana, Sasaki Mayu, Kawashima Haruna
Nippon TV Beleza:
Soyama Kanako, Shimizu Risa, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Kinoshita Shiori, Ariyoshi Saori, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Hara Natsuko, Sumida Rin, Hasegawa Yui, Momiki Yuka, Shimada Chiaki
Subs: Kobayashi Yayoi (Shimada Chiaki, 66 mins), Tanaka Mina (Hara Natsuko, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Yamashita Ayaka, Nakasato Yu, Kobayashi Miharu
Scorers: Tanaka Mina (90+3 mins)
Booked: Hara Natsuko
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies 4 - 2 FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme
Kibi edge closer to relegation as although they again initially did well against JEF United - taking the lead twice in this tie - the home side again came back well to claim all three points and thus move five points clear of the relegation zone.
Kibi took the lead through Hamamoto Marin, when she ran onto a free kick taken by goalkeeper Isashi Kaede from within her own goal area. Ikadai Risa equalised to make the score 1-1 at half-time, firing a powerful shot into the top corner of the net.
Nishikawa Asuka restored the lead for Kibi seven minutes after half-time, though JEF United scored three goals in the final twenty minutes, with Wakabayashi, Sugasawa and Sakuramoto the scorers.
Kibi host leaders Urawa next weekend, with their 2-1 victory last season a distant memory. JEF United travel to Shibata to face Niigata.
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies:
Yamane Erina, Wakabayashi Minori, Sakuramoto Naoko (capt), Chino Shoko, Ueno Saki, Oya Madoka, Setoguchi Kozue, Anzai Yuka, Fukasawa Risa, Ikadai Risa, Sugasawa Yuika
Subs: Kawamura Mari (Oya Madoka, 41 mins), Hosaka Nodoka (Ikadai Risa, 86 mins), Matsuura Nagisa (Anzai Yuka, 88 mins)
Unused subs: Nemoto Mio, Tsurumi Ayaka, Shimada Ayako, Hanagiri Naomi
Scorers: Ikadai Risa (37 mins), Wakabayashi Minori (71 mins), Sugasawa Yuika (78 mins), Sakuramoto Naoko (84 mins)
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Isashi Kaede, Nagano Momoko, Takahashi Chiho (capt), Eguchi Mika, Noma Fumika, Tajima Mitsuyo, Yoshitake Manami, Takano Saki, Kurakazu Shiho, Nishikawa Asuka, Hamamoto Marin
Subs: Adachi Eriko (Hamamoto Marin, 75 mins), Kadota Rui (Nagano Momoko, 82 mins), Kanbara Misaki (Tajima Mitsuyo, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Fujita Suzuka, Takatsuka Ayane
Scorers: Hamamoto Marin (24 mins), Nishikawa Asuka (52 mins)
AS Elfen Saitama 1 - 1 Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
Saitama picked up a valuable point at home to Urawa in the local derby and that point was enough to see them move ahead of Iga into eighth place. Urawa did most of the running in the match, but it was Saitama who took the lead. In the 62nd minute Azami Rie crossed from the right with Sakamoto Riho stretching to clear the ball, the defender unfortunate to hit the back of her own net.
Saitama piled on the pressure and were saved by loanee goalkeeper Hirao Chika, but five minutes later Urawa were level, a fine run from defence by Naomoto was finished off by Seike Kiko, with a deflection off Takeda Arisa taking the ball away from Yamago.
Urawa stay top on goal difference and next week travel to bottom side Kibi expecting to return with all three points. Saitama host Vegalta Sendai who are beginning to fall away from the leading pack with each passing game.
AS Elfen Saitama:
Yamago Nozomi (capt), Azami Rie, Takahashi Yuko, Takeda Arisa, Nara Misaki, Takahashi Kaho, Takeyama Yuko, Ito Kanako, Nakano Rino, Arakawa Eriko, Saito Yuri
Subs: Suzuki Kaoruko (Nakano Rino, 70 mins)
Unused subs: Funada Mayu, Saito Natsumi, Hagiwara Aimi, Uchida Saki, Yamazaki Sayuri, Akitaya Misato
Scorers: Own Goal (62 mins)
Booked: Nara Misaki, Takeyama Yuko
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Hirao Chika, Dozono Ayano, Sakamoto Riho, Kohata Shiho (capt), Usui Rie, Shibata Hanae, Naomoto Hikaru, Kishikawa Natsuki, Kato Chika, Kira Chinatsu, Otaki Ami
Subs: Seike Kiko (Otaki Ami, HT), Saito Akane (Kato Chika, 61 mins), Wada Naoko (Dozono Ayano, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Tajiri Yumi, Ishii Saki, Tomari Shiho, Nakamura Mizuki
Scorers: Seike Kiko (69 mins)
Albirex Niigata Ladies 0 - 2 INAC Kobe Leonessa
INAC Kobe's third successive win has seen them move up to fourth in the table, ahead of Niigata whom they beat today and who have gradually fallen back and must now regroup to ensure they finish in the top six.
Captain Takase Megumi was the INAC heroine again, with a brace which incidentally moved her to the top of the scoring charts with ten goals. The first came after twenty minutes, when Polkinghorne dribbled powerfully through midfield and found Takase with a perfect pass, with Takase finishing with aplomb.
Fourteen minutes later Nakajima was the supplier, and just as against Vegalta Sendai, it came from a free kick. Takase got free of the Niigata defence and headed across the face of the goal and out of the reach of Ichitani.
Niigata attacked more in the second half hoping for a comeback but INAC Kobe held firm and claimed their second 2-0 win over Niigata this season. INAC Kobe host Belle in Okinawa, with Niigata hosting JEF United, two points and one position above them.
Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Ichitani Tomoko, Obara Yuria, Kitahara Kana, Yamamoto Arina, Takamura Chisato, Takahashi Haruka, Saito Yuri, Kodama Keiko, Kamionobe Megumi (capt), Saeki Aya, Yamazaki Marumi
Subs: Oishi Sayaka (Yamazaki Marumi, 5 mins), Sakaguchi Moeno (Kodama Keiko, 65 mins), Kojima Miku (Takamura Chisato, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Fukumura Kanae, Sayama Momoko, Shimokawa Saori, Kubota Mayu
Booked: Obara Yuria
INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Kaihori Ayumi, Miyake Shiori, Kai Junko, Clare Polkinghorne, Watanabe Ayaka, Sawa Homare, Minamiyama Chiaki, Nakajima Emi, Kyokawa Mai, Takase Megumi (capt), Tanaka Yoko
Subs: Nakada Ayu (Kyokawa Mai, 63 mins), Masuya Rika (Minamiyama Chiaki, 77 mins), Isokane Midori (Watanabe Ayaka, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Takenaka Rei, Noguchi Ayaka
Scorers: Takase Megumi (20, 34 mins)
Booked: Takase Megumi, Tanaka Yoko
Iga FC Kunoichi 1 - 3 Okayama Yunogo Belle
Iga were once again no match for the opposition and have now dropped to ninth in the table. Okayama Yunogo Belle marched into Iga and within five minutes were in the lead. Nakano wrestled the ball away from the Iga defence and having combined with Matsuoka, finished off with ease for her fourth goal of the season.
With two minutes to go in the first half, Belle doubled their lead to further deflate Iga. Asano Miki scored her second goal in two games when Miyama found Nakano down the left, with Nakano's quick cross to Asano powerfully put away.
In the 53rd minute Iga got themselves back in the game when Tsutsumi Saki converted a penalty for which she had been fouled. Although the home side did create more chances in the second half, it was Belle who scored the decisive goal ten minutes later. On this occasion Miyama Aya put in an outswinging corner and this was powerfully headed into the net by Kado Yuka.
With this victory Belle join Urawa at the top of the table and will be hopeful of a good result when they face INAC Kobe in Okinawa. Iga play Beleza in hope of another draw.
Iga FC Kunoichi:
Kuno Fubuki, Miyasako Tamami, Michikura Hiroko, Ohashi Mio, Elise Kellond-Knight, Nasu Maiko (capt), Noichi Aya, Haji Madoka, Tsutsumi Saki, Sugita Ami, Ogawa Shiho
Subs: Kiyohara Marie (Noichi Aya, 19 mins), Kobayashi Makiko (Haji Madoka, HT), Tameka Butt (Ogawa Shiho, 74 mins)
Unused subs: Sawada Norimi, Nishino Yuka, Matsunaga Tomoe, Matsunaga Yoshie
Scorers: Tsutsumi Saki (53 mins, pen)
Booked: Elise Kellond-Knight
Okayama Yunogo Belle:
Fukumoto Miho (capt), Kado Yuka, Kitaura Miho, Mizushima Kumi, Takahashi Sachie, Kuzuma Riyo, Nakano Manami, Miyama Aya, Asano Miki, Arimachi Saori, Matsuoka Miki
Subs: Hosokawa Motoyo (Kitaura Miho, 59 mins), Nakada Maiko (Asano Miki, 90+1 mins)
Unused subs: Hayashizaki Mei, Taniguchi Kikumi, Kawano Saki, Fushiki Kaho, Tanaka Mayu
Scorers: Nakano Manami (5 mins), Asano Miki (43 mins), Kado Yuka (63 mins)