Nippon TV Beleza 2 - 0 JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies
Beleza won their thirteenth league title and their first since 2010 with a straightforward win over JEF United, who have yet to win in the Exciting Series. Hasegawa Yui gave the home side the perfect start after only four minutes when she combined with Nakasato and Uetsuji to rifle home the opener. On twenty-eight minutes Beleza had their second, Nakasato Yu scoring off a pass from Tanaka Mina as the young Menina graduates showed their hunger for a first championship of their own.
For JEF United, Sugasawa Yuika - who remains the league's top scorer - had the best of their chances but there was to be no denying the Tokyo side. They finish the league season at home next Sunday to INAC Kobe Leonessa. JEF United are at home to Niigata with both sides seeking a good final position.
Nippon TV Beleza:
Yamashita Ayaka, Shimizu Risa, Iwashimizu Azusa (capt), Muramatsu Tomoko, Ariyoshi Saori, Hara Natsuko, Sakaguchi Mizuho, Uetsuji Yumi, Nakasato Yu, Hasegawa Yui, Tanaka Mina
Subs: Sumida Rin (Uetsuji Yumi, 58 mins)
Unused subs: Soyama Kanako, Doko Mayo, Kinoshita Shiori, Kiryu Nanase, Shimada Chiaki, Toriumi Yuka
Scorers: Hasegawa Yui (4 mins), Nakasato Yu (28 mins)
JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies:
Yamane Erina, Chino Shoko, Sakuramoto Naoko (capt), Isokane Midori, Ueno Saki, Hosaka Nodoka, Setoguchi Kozue, Kawamura Mari, Fukasawa Risa, Ikadai Risa, Sugasawa Yuika
Subs: Wakabayashi Minori (Chino Shoko, 39 mins), Kamogawa Miho (Ikadai Risa, 58 mins), Ozawa Hiro (Setoguchi Kozue, 76 mins)
Unused subs: Nemoto Mio, Nishikawa Ayaka, Mitsuhashi Asuka, Yanai Rina
Vegalta Sendai Ladies 4 - 4 Albirex Niigata Ladies
For a second weekend in a row the top division saw a remarkable 4-4 draw played out, and on both occasions the opposition sides will have felt that they should have won the game. In this game neither team seemed particularly interested in defending, with the league title already decided they were likely mindful of avoiding injuries going into their respective cup campaigns. Tackling was therefore at a minimum and to start things off Kamionobe Megumi was afforded far too much time in front of the Sendai goal, and punished the home defence appropriately.
Sendai, however, then went on a scoring rampage, putting four past Tokiwagi Gakuen graduate Fukumura Kanae in the space of eighteen minutes to lead four-one at the break, with Kakazu, Sakai and Arimachi all moving all recording their second goals scored in the Exciting Series.
As Sendai had done to Niigata, so Niigata proceeded to do to Sendai as they came out very strongly at the start of the second half, Exciting Series top scorer Yamazaki Marumi pulling a goal back on fifty-three minutes. Sendai failed to reorganise to snuff out the growing danger and the visitors helped themselves to two more goals, courtesy of Oishi Sayaka and Saeki Aya.
This breathless draw leaves both sides still in with a chance of finishing second - both have nine points though Niigata have a superior goal difference. Sendai are again at home on the final weekend, with Urawa visiting. Niigata travel to play JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies in Ichihara.
Vegalta Sendai Ladies:
Takenaka Rei, Sakai Yuki, Yamamoto Risa, Chiba Kozue, Takara Ryoko, Kakazu Asuka (capt), Sasaki Mayu, Kawamura Yuri, Nakano Manami, Inoue Ayaka, Arimachi Saori
Subs: Ono Hitomi (Inoue Ayaka, 69 mins), Hamada Haruka (Arimachi Saori, 79 mins), Yasumoto Sawako (Kakazu Asuka, 84 mins)
Unused subs: Saito Ayaka, Nishikawa Asuka, Tahara Nozomi, Sasaki Miwa
Scorers: Kakazu Asuka (20 mins), Sakai Yuki (28, 35 mins), Arimachi Saori (38 mins)
Albirex Niigata Ladies:
Fukumura Kanae, Kojima Miku, Kitahara Kana, Nakamura Kaede, Watanabe Ayaka, Sakaguchi Moeno, Yamada Shoko, Saeki Aya, Kamionobe Megumi (capt), Yamazaki Marumi, Oishi Sayaka
Subs: Takamura Chisato (Kojima Miku, 82 mins), Takahashi Haruka (Saeki Aya, 82 mins), Kubota Mayu (Sakaguchi Moeno, 90+1 mins)
Unused subs: Koganemaru Sachie, Yamamoto Arina, Saito Yuri, Kodama Keiko
Scorers: Kamionobe Megumi (3 mins), Yamazaki Marumi (53 mins), Oishi Sayaka (63 mins), Saeki Aya (68 mins)
INAC Kobe Leonessa 3 - 0 Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
INAC Kobe got off to a more than ideal start against Urawa as they sought their first win of the Exciting Series. Ito Miki scored from just in front of goal following good work from Masuya and Kawasumi and that second-minute goal was followed by a second for Masuya on nine minutes - a fine, accurate shot finding the bottom corner, with Kawasumi again making an excellent run to set it up. Kobe's third goal came in additional time at the end of the first half, Nakajima Emi knocking in Takase Megumi's low cross first time. Urawa next travel north to Sendai and can finish fifth at best. INAC Kobe travel east to face champions Beleza.
INAC Kobe Leonessa:
Kaihori Ayumi, Kinga Yukari, Kai Junko, Tanaka Asuna (capt), Sameshima Aya, Kawasumi Nahomi, Ito Miki, Sawa Homare, Nakajima Emi, Takase Megumi, Masuya Rika
Subs: Ohno Shinobu (Masuya Rika, 79 mins), Michigami Ayaka (Takase Megumi, 79 mins), Nakada Ayu (Sameshima Aya, 88 mins)
Unused subs: Shibusawa Anna, Miyake Shiori, Ito Kanako, Jang Selgi
Scorers: Ito Miki (2 mins), Masuya Rika (9 mins), Nakajima Emi (45+2 mins)
Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies:
Hirao Chika, Norimatsu Ruka, Osafune Kana, Kohata Shiho, Wada Naoko, Shibata Hanae, Naomoto Hikaru, Kishikawa Natsuki, Kato Chika, Kira Chinatsu, Goto Michi (capt)
Subs: Usui Rie (Wada Naoko, HT), Ishii Saki (Kato Chika, 60 mins), Shiraki Akari (Goto Michi, 67 mins)
Unused subs: Ikeda Sakiko, Chiba Minori, Suzuki Rina, Kurishima Akari
AS Elfen Saitama 1 - 2 Iga FC Kunoichi
Iga had a fine victory today to move themselves five points away from danger and it was former Saitama player Suzuki Kaoruko who gave them the lead five minutes after half-time. Sugita Ami doubled the lead three minutes later and although Takahashi Saori reduced the deficit the Kunoichi held on and will be confident of staying clear. They play Belle on Tuesday, while Saitama travel to Takatsuki in a must-win game for both sides.
AS Elfen Saitama:
Sakuragi Ayana, Segi Aiki, Abby Erceg, Nara Misaki, Matsukubo Akari, Anna Green, Azami Rie (capt), Takano Saki, Nakano Rino, Akitaya Misato, Takahashi Saori
Subs: Sarah Gregorius (Akitaya Misato, HT)
Unused subs: Funada Mayu, Matsuoka Sayuri, Sakurabayashi Ayako, Hagiwara Aimi, Kitano Rie, Sugihara Haruna
Scorers: Takahashi Saori (69 mins)
Iga FC Kunoichi:
Kuno Fubuki, Michikura Hiroko, Miyasako Tamami, Nasu Maiko (capt), Hatanaka Miyuka, Haji Madoka, Sugita Ami, Suzuki Kaoruko, Matsunaga Yoshie, Meleana Shim, Ogawa Shiho
Unused subs: Isashi Kaede, Kobayashi Misaki, Shimizu Akane, Matsunaga Tomoe, Noichi Aya, Sonomura Nana, Kiyohara Marie
Scorers: Suzuki Kaoruko (50 mins), Sugita Ami (53 mins)
Okayama Yunogo Belle 2 - 0 Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki
Belle's first win of the Exciting Series came at a perfect moment and keeps them on top of the four-team contest. Takahashi Sachie's opener in the first half was followed in the second half by another from Kobayashi Makiko, who pounced on a loose ball and poked home. Takatsuki and Saitama will go all out to beat each other on Tuesday, with the extra intrigue that a draw would mean both Belle and Iga, who play each other at the same time, would both be safe.
Okayama Yunogo Belle:
Fukumoto Miho (capt), Nakajima Chihiro, Kado Yuka, Takahashi Sachie, Mizushima Kumi, Kobayashi Makiko, Kuzuma Riyo, Miyama Aya, Elizabeth Eddy, Takahashi Chiho, Matsuoka Miki
Subs: Asano Miki (Elizabeth Eddy, 75 mins), Sakuma Kotori (Kobayashi Makiko, 88 mins), Kishino Sana (Matsuoka Miki, 90+1 mins)
Unused subs: Mita Isayo, Hosokawa Motoyo, Hashimoto Shoko, Tanaka Mayu
Scorers: Takahashi Sachie (33 mins), Kobayashi Makiko (69 mins)
Booked: Matsuoka Miki
Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki:
Ono Maya, Tsuboi Ayako, Sato Kaede, Takeda Arisa, Akiba Yumeko, Saito Toshiko, Yoshimura Midori, Torao Naomi (capt), Kitagawa Wakana, Narumiya Yui, Maruyama Karina
Subs: Hayashi Momo (Kitagawa Wakana, 58 mins), Fujino Suzuka (Saito Toshiko, 71 mins), Yoneyama Suzumi (Yoshimura Midori, 86 mins)
Unused subs: Ueno Yukiko, Takahashi Saki
Booked: Takeda Arisa, Torao Naomi