Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies 1 - 1 Vegalta Sendai Ladies
Last season Urawa went four goals down in their home match against Vegalta Sendai, before recovering to finally lose 4-2, though with a tougher defence there was no expectation of a repeat. However, in a game of few good chances, Vegalta looked like they had done enough to win when Yamamoto Risa headed home an Uetsuji corner kick - following up on last week when the same duo combined from a free kick.
Vegalta looked to be headed for their first win since April, but Urawa are made of stern stuff this season and found the equaliser in additional time. A ball from Ishii Saki on the right was headed on by Otaki Ami and Kira Chinatsu wasted no time in finishing past Saita with seconds remaining.
Urawa thus stay top, still two points ahead of Belle who also drew. Vegalta Sendai have slipped down into seventh, having started the season so brightly. They next take on INAC Kobe, who they beat early in the season. Urawa host Iga.
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Hirao Chika, Dozono Ayano, Norimatsu Ruka, Kohata Shiho, Usui Rie, Shibata Hanae, Kishikawa Natsuki, Naomoto Hikaru, Kato Chika, Kira Chinatsu, Goto Michi (capt)
Subs: Otaki Ami (Kato Chika, 71 mins), Ishii Saki (Dozono Ayano, 81 mins), Fujita Nozomi (Kishikawa Natsuki, 81 mins)
Unused subs: Tajiri Yumi, Sakamoto Riho, Saito Akane, Wada Naoko
Scorers: Kira Chinatsu (90+2 mins)
Vegalta Sendai Ladies:
Saita Yuki (capt), Yamamoto Risa, Osafune Kana, Takahashi Nana, Hamada Haruka, Yasumoto Sawako, Kawamura Yuri, Uetsuji Yumi, Kakazu Asuka, Takara Ryoko, Ono Hitomi
Subs: Sasaki Mayu (Hamada Haruka, HT), Tahara Nozomi (Kakazu Asuka, 86 mins), Kawashima Haruna (Takara Ryoko, 90+1 mins)
Unused subs: Saito Ayaka, Sakai Yuki, Koyama Kie, Inoue Ayaka
Scorers: Yamamoto Risa (78 mins),
Albirex Niigata Ladies 1 - 1 Okayama Yunogo Belle
Okayama Yunogo Belle started the day with the potential to go top but ultimately were happy to rescue a point from their visit to distant Niigata. Belle had dominated in front of goal but it was Niigata who took the lead, Hirai Sakina scoring off a pass from Kamionobe. With just five minutes remaining, it looked as if Niigata could hold on for another fine victory. Belle have fought back well on a number of occasions this season, and with just a minute of normal time remaining had the equaliser. Matsuoka Miki, Belle's top scorer this year, fed Arimachi Saori through the middle and Arimachi scored from close range.
Belle next play JEF United, the only side to have beaten them this season. Niigata play Beleza, against whom they picked up a point early in the season.
Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Ichitani Tomoko, Obara Yuria, Kitahara Kana, Yamamoto Arina, Takamura Chisato, Takahashi Haruka, Saito Yuri, Saeki Aya, Kamionobe Megumi (capt), Sakaguchi Moeno, Oishi Sayaka
Subs: Yamazaki Marumi (Sakaguchi Moeno, 65 mins), Hirai Sakina (Oishi Sayaka, 71 mins), Kodama Keiko (Saeki Aya, 83 mins)
Unused subs: Fukumura Kanae, Sayama Momoko, Kojima Miku, Yamada Shoko
Scorers: Hirai Sakina (85 mins)
Booked: Yamamoto Arina
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, Fushiki Kaho, Kitaura Miho, Nakada Maiko, Tanaka Mayu
Scorers: Arimachi Saori (89 mins)
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme 0 - 4 Nippon TV Beleza
Beleza had little or no trouble in overcoming bottom side FC Kibi in Tsuyama today, and move further away from danger at the bottom. Ariyoshi Saori scored both of Beleza's two opening goals, in the ninth and thirtieth minutes, with an assist from Sakaguchi for the first and a deflection off the post for the second.
On forty minutes Sakaguchi scored one for herself, her sixth of the season, to end the game as a contest. This goal came from a corner kick, and Kibi have struggled consistently this season to defend set pieces. In the 75th minute Shimizu Risa scored her first ever league goal to add emphasis to the victory.
Beleza are in sixth at the half-way stage, an unusual position for them to be in, and next play Niigata, who they trail by three points. Kibi's next game is at home to Saitama and is their biggest game of the season. A loss would be devastating.
FC Kibikokusaidaigaku Charme:
Isashi Kaede, Noma Fumika, Takahashi Chiho (capt), Eguchi Mika, Yoshitake Manami, Tajima Mitsuyo, Takano Saki, Oka Misako, Nagano Momoko, Nishikawa Asuka, Kurakazu Shiho
Subs: Komatsu Mina (Oka Misako, HT), Hamamoto Marin (Tajima Mitsuyo, 67 mins), Nakai Yuna (Eguchi Mika, 77 mins)
Unused subs: Fujita Suzuka, Miyake Ayumi, Kanbara Misaki, Oba Azuki
Nippon TV Beleza:
Soyama Kanako, Shimizu Risa, Kinoshita Shiori, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Ariyoshi Saori, Hara Natsuko, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Sumida Rin, Momiki Yuka, Hasegawa Yui, Shimada Chiaki
Subs: Tanaka Mina (Shimada Chiaki, 54 mins), Kobayashi Yayoi (Momiki Yuka, 77 mins), Nakasato Yu (Shimizu Risa, 84 mins)
Unused subs: Yamashita Ayaka, Kobayashi Miharu
Scorers: Ariyoshi Saori (9, 30 mins), Sakaguchi Mizuho (40 mins), Shimizu Risa (75 mins)
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies 3 - 2 Iga FC Kunoichi
A stunning comeback from JEF United shows the progress that the Chiba side has made this year and also highlighted how Iga have gone backwards from last season, when their defence was very strong. The visitors had the best possible start when Nasu Maiko volleyed home a Sugita corner kick - Iga's fourth consecutive goal from that source.
Iga were in control in the first half and at half-time brought on Elise Kellond-Knight, who scored a remarkable goal two minutes later. Picking up the ball on the left, Kellond-Knight attempted a cross into the box, but overhit the ball. Just as it seemed that it would drop over the bar, it dipped dramatically and found the top corner of the net, with Yamane finding the ball just out of reach.
Two goals up and looking in command, Iga surprisingly found themselves on the back foot as they lost control of the midfield, with JEF's players making good runs down the left in particular. Chino Shoko headed in a Setoguchi corner on 54 minutes to reduce the arrears, and finally in the 84th minute Fukasawa Risa equalised when a defensive mixup between goalkeeper and defender left her with just a tap in.
Iga were now hanging on to a draw, but couldn't pull it off as Sugasawa Yuika continued her tremendous start to the season with another goal, striking home from a Ueno pass with seconds remaining.
JEF United move onto sixteen points and are well clear of the bottom three, though only two clear of Sendai in seventh. Iga look certain to be one of the four sides battling relegation in the Exciting Series.
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies:
Yamane Erina, Wakabayashi Minori, Sakuramoto Naoko (capt), Chino Shoko, Ueno Saki, Hosaka Nodoka, Setoguchi Kozue, Kawamura Mari, Fukasawa Risa, Ikadai Risa, Sugasawa Yuika
Subs: Anzai Yuka (Ikadai Risa, 45+3 mins), Kamogawa Miho (Hosaka Nodoka, 65 mins)
Unused subs: Miki Yoshimi, Koike Kokoro, Oya Madoka, Matsuura Nagisa, Shimada Ayako
Scorers: Chino Shoko (54 mins), Fukasawa Risa (84 mins), Sugasawa Yuika (90+3 mins)
Booked: Fukasawa Risa
Iga FC Kunoichi:
Sawada Norimi, Miyasako Tamami, Michikura Hiroko, Ohashi Mio, Kiyohara Marie, Nasu Maiko (capt), Noichi Aya, Kobayashi Makiko, Tsutsumi Saki, Sugita Ami, Ogawa Shiho
Subs: Elise Kellond-Knight (Kiyohara Marie, HT), Tameka Butt (Kobayashi Makiko, 70 mins), Haji Madoka (Tsutsumi Saki, 78 mins)
Unused subs: Kuno Fubuki, Matsunaga Yoshie
Scorers: Nasu Maiko (4 mins), Elise Kellond-Knight (47 mins)
AS Elfen Saitama 1 - 3 INAC Kobe Leonessa
League veteran Arakawa Eriko gave Saitama the lead over INAC Kobe in the tenth minute, finishing smartly past Kaihori Ayumi with a fine through ball from Takeyama setting her up. This state of affairs was unlikely to last long, and so it proved as Masuya Rika scored in both the 27th and 33rd minutes to turn the game around. The first was a fine solo effort, skipping around Takeda and holding off Hagiwara to score under Yamago, and for the second she crossed from the opposite side, the right, only to see Yamago make a terrible mistake to allow the ball through her hands and into the net.
INAC Kobe scored a third, captain Takase with her sixth of the season in the 63rd minute which sealed the points once and for all. On this occasion the supplier was subsitute Watanabe, who crossed invitingly from the left for Takase to head home powerfully.
INAC Kobe move onto fourteen points, level with both Beleza and Sendai, and take on the latter next weekend having brought in Clare Polkinghorne on loan to help shore up the defence. Saitama play Kibi in a huge match for both sides.
AS Elfen Saitama:
Yamago Nozomi (capt), Azami Rie, Takeda Arisa, Saito Natsumi, Akitaya Misato, Ito Kanako, Hagiwara Aimi, Nara Misaki, Saito Yuri, Arakawa Eriko, Takeyama Yuko
Subs: Nakano Rino (Saito Yuri, 64 mins), Takahashi Kaho (Hagiwara Aimi, 72 mins)
Unused subs: Funada Mayu, Utsumi Yui, Takahashi Yuko, Uchida Saki, Suzuki Kaoruko
Scorers: Arakawa Eriko (10 mins)
INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Kaihori Ayumi, Noguchi Ayaka, Kai Junko, Miyake Shiori, Isokane Midori, Sawa Homare, Minamiyama Chiaki, Masuya Rika, Kyokawa Mai, Takase Megumi (capt), Tanaka Yoko
Subs: Watanabe Ayaka (Noguchi Ayaka, 58 mins), Nakada Ayu (Minamiyama Chiaki, 71 mins), Ito Miki (Kyokawa Mai, 82 mins)
Unused subs: Takenaka Rei, Nakajima Emi
Scorers: Masuya Rika (27, 33 mins), Takase Megumi (63 mins)