Friday, March 16, 2007

Japanese Soccer News 16 March 2007

J-League News: Nagoya the surprise leaders
Nagoya Grampus Eight are the surprise table-toppers after the opening two rounds of the J-League, following their 2-0 victory away at Ventforet Kofu last weekend. Sef Vergoossen's men are yet to concede a goal and they'll look to continue their good form at home against Albirex Niigata.

Japanese Soccer News 16 March 2007.
Shimizu S-Pulse are hot on the heels of Nagoya, having defeated JEF United 3-1 in Chiba last weekend. They'll look to maintain their winning streak with a win over Kashiwa Reysol at Nihondaira Stadium.

Defending champions Urawa Reds drew 2-2 at a freezing Big Swan Stadium, conceding two goals in the final two minutes to hosts Albirex Niigata. Urawa will look to make amends at home to Ventforet Kofu this weekend, although they will no doubt have one eye on their upcoming Asian Champions League clash with 2005 A-League winners Sydney FC.

The match of the round last weekend took place at a packed Mitsuzawa Stadium, as Yokohama FC and Yokohama F. Marinos clashed in the first Yokohama derby since 1998. In emotional scenes in Japan's "second city," Yokohama FC triumphed 1-0 over their cross-town rivals, despite being outplayed for much of the match.

The match was significant for the fact that it was the first time that Yokohama FC - a club started by disgruntled Yokohama Flügels fans, opposed Yokohama F. Marinos - a club that was created by the sudden merger of Yokohama Flügels and Yokohama Marinos in 1998.
This weekend Yokohama FC make the short trip to neighbours Kawasaki Frontale - who are also on Asian Champions League duty next week, when they take on Bangkok University at home.

JEF United prop up the J-League standings at this early stage, and it looks like it will be another season of disappointment for fans of the Chiba-based outfit.

Japanese Soccer News 16 March 2007.
Japan National Teams

Under-22 Olympic Team

Yasuharu Sorimachi's side recorded a second consecutive victory on its quest to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, however they once again disappointed, despite beating Malaysia 2-1 at a rain-soaked Petaling Jaya Stadium.
Goals from FC Tokyo forward Sota Hirayama and Kashiwa Reysol striker Tadanari Ri were enough to see off the hosts, who pulled a late goal back through Khyril Muhymeen. Japan's next match is against Syria at the National Stadium in Tokyo on March 28.

Japan National Women's Team
The Japan National Women's Team beat Mexico 2-0 at the National Stadium in Tokyo, in the first leg of their World Cup qualification playoff.

Goals from Homare Sawa and Aya Miyama have put Japan in a commanding position, ahead of the return leg at Nemesio Diez Stadium in Toluca on March 17.

Copyright © Michael Tuckerman & Soccerphile.com

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