Okayama Yunogo Belle 0 - 2 Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
A decisive victory for the league leaders, and a defeat for Belle that almost certainly ends their title hopes for another season. In the first half the teams were quite even but Belle fell behind to a powerful header from Goto Michi on thirty-three minutes, with Kira and Kato combining well down the left wing, with the latter putting in a perfect cross for Goto.
Belle were restricted in the second half and after seventy-six minutes an own goal off a corner kick for Urawa sealed the victory and a very precious three points for the visitors.
INAC Kobe are Urawa's next rivals, beat them and the Saitama side are champions for the third time. Belle travel to Niigata with just the slimmest chance of a first league title.
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: Fushiki Kaho (Kuzuma Riyo, 75 mins)
Unused subs: Aoyagi Maririn, Taniguchi Kikumi, Kawano Saki, Nakada Maiko, Tanaka Mayu
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Ikeda Sakiko, Dozono Ayano, Norimatsu Ruka, Kohata Shiho, Wada Naoko, Shibata Hanae, Naomoto Hikaru, Kishikawa Natsuki, Kato Chika, Kira Chinatsu, Goto Michi (capt)
Subs: Otaki Ami (Kato Chika, 67 mins), Sakamoto Riho (Kira Chinatsu, 83 mins), Saito Akane (Wada Naoko, 87 mins)
Unused subs: Tajiri Yumi, Suzuki Rina, Usui Rie, Tomari Shiho
Scorers: Goto Michi (32 mins), Own Goal (76 mins)
Booked: Kohata Shiho, Kato Chika
Nippon TV Beleza 2 - 1 INAC Kobe Leonessa
Beleza took all three points to keep their hopes of a thirteenth championship alive, though they had to come from behind against an INAC Kobe side which was again very disappointing.
The sides were level at half-time, despite Beleza creating far more opportunities to score than the champions did, and in the sixty-fourth minute they went ahead through Kyokawa Mai, who scored her sixth of the season. Iwashimizu was too easily beaten by the young forward who shot early over goalkeeper Yamashita Ayaka, who today made a rare starting appearance and will not be pleased with herself with regards to her positioning.
Beleza hit back almost immediately, and within seven minutes were in the lead. First Iwashimizu supplied Shimada with a long ball and she outpaced Isokane to finish smartly past Kaihori to equalise. Shimada was then instrumental in the second, taking a Hasegawa pass, holding the ball up well and then feeding Momiki who scored in a similar fashion past Kaihori.
INAC Kobe had little in reply and Beleza held on comfortably to win and keep the pressure up on Urawa at the top, though must keep winning and hope that their Kanto neighbours slip up, with next week's visit of JEF United next to come. INAC Kobe host Urawa and Beleza will be hoping that INAC can beat Urawa for the second time this season.
Nippon TV Beleza:
Yamashita Ayaka, Shimizu Risa, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Kinoshita Shiori, Ariyoshi Saori, Hara Natsuko, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Sumida Rin, Momiki Yuka, Hasegawa Yui, Shimada Chiaki
Unused subs: Soyama Kanako, Muramatsu Tomoko, Doko Mayo, Nakasato Yu, Kobayashi Yayoi, Kobayashi Miharu, Tanaka Mina
Scorers: Shimada Chiaki (67 mins), Momiki Yuka (71 mins)
Booked: Sakaguchi Mizuho
INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Kaihori Ayumi, Kai Junko, Isokane Midori, Miyake Shiori, Minamiyama Chiaki, Nakajima Emi, Kyokawa Mai, Sawa Homare, Kawasumi Nahomi, Michigami Ayaka, Takase Megumi (capt)
Subs: Beverly Goebel-Yanez (Michigami Ayaka, 31 mins), Watanabe Ayaka (Takase Megumi, HT), Chelsea Stewart (Kai Junko, 74 mins)
Unused subs: Takenaka Rei, Nakada Ayu, Masuya Rika
Scorers: Kyokawa Mai (64 mins)
Booked: Takase Megumi
Albirex Niigata Ladies 1 - 0 JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies
Tiffany McCarty scored her first goal of the season as a highest-ever finish of fourth place now looks likely for Niigata. McCarty's goal came in the sixty-seventh minute is a game of few goal-scoring chances, with yet another assist for the in-form Obara Yuria, whose long pass was perfectly weighted for McCarty to run onto and score.
Niigata next play Belle, again at home and will be hoping to continue their good run of form. JEF United host Beleza who are still in the hunt for the title.
Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Ichitani Tomoko, Kojima Miku, Kitahara Kana, Sayama Momoko, Obara Yuria, Saito Yuri, Kamionobe Megumi (capt), Sakaguchi Moeno, Oishi Sayaka, Saeki Aya, Tiffany McCarty
Subs: Yamazaki Marumi (Tiffany McCarty, 72 mins), Takahashi Haruka (Saeki Aya, 75 mins), Yamada Shoko (Oishi Sayaka, 89 mins)
Unused subs: Koganemaru Sachie, Yamamoto Arina, Sekura Haruhi
Scorers: Tiffany McCarty (57 mins)
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 (Setoguchi Kozue, 67 mins), Tsurumi Ayaka (Fukasawa Risa, 90 mins)
Unused subs: Nemoto Mio, Oya Madoka, Matsuura Nagisa, Yamamoto Naomi