S-Pulse announce special victory-only event after Gamba match

Shimizu S-Pulse will hold a special post-match event should the team emerge victorious against Gamba Osaka in Sunday’s MEIJI YASUDA J1 League encounter.

The club announced on Thursday that the “S-Pulse Supporters Park 2015” will be held in the S-Pulse Dream Plaza, beginning from 18:30 local time.

It will comprise a special talk show by stadium DJ Katsuma Suzuki as well as raffles for player-signed merchandise. Winners will join the players on stage for a photo session.

S-Pulse are hoping to reignite the enthusiasm of their supporters, since Katsumi Oenoki’s men have been on a recent slump.

Despite the club’s opening day 3-1 victory over Kashima Antlers in March, they have gone their next six games in all competitions without a win, losing five.


Muto named Coca-Cola MVP winners in March

Yoshinori Muto emerged as the J.League Coca-Cola Player of the Month when the results were announced on Friday.

The FC Tokyo forward took the honour for March, with his three goals in four games and overall performances crucial in propelling his club to joint-second in the table.

The 22-year-old beat Urawa Reds captain Yuki Abe and goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa, as well as Sanfrecce Hiroshima midfielder Toshihiro Aoyama.

JEF United Chiba midfielder Paulinho captured the J2 League prize ahead of Zweigen Kanazawa’s Shohei Kiyohara and Cerezo Osaka’s Keiji Tamada.

Both Muto and Paulinho won the award for the first time.


Consadole confirm new intake for Asahikawa Junior Football School

Consadole Sapporo have opened applications for the Consadole Asahikawa Junior Football School, which will begin on 1st May.

Intake of first and second grade students will go to Consadole’s Under-6 and Under-8 categories, while third and fourth grade students go directly to the Under-10s.

The school will run from May through to June, and from August to October.

The Hokkaido-based club currently play in the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League, and are ninth in the standings.


JEF United presents rulers to new first-graders

JEF United Chiba revealed it will continue gifting club-designed plastic rulers to students entering public elementary schools in Ichihara and Chiba.

The programme began its inception seven years ago, 2014 being the first year that all current students were in possession of a JEF United ruler.

The rulers will be personally delivered to several schools in both cities by JEF United players next Wednesday.

Takashi Sekizuka’s outfit are early candidates for promotion to the top-flight next season, presently sitting second in the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League.


Sato to visit J2 table-toppers Jubilo

Jubilo Iwata have confirmed that J.League Female Manager Miki Sato will appear for Saturday’s game against Fagiano Okayama.

Sato will perform the “Kick In” ceremony at Yamaha Stadium, and has also scheduled to participate in several promotional events prior to the game.

The 21-year-old has already travelled to several matches around Japan since being appointed, helping to raise awareness of the J.league’s aims to further the sport.

Meanwhile, resurgent Jubilo are hoping to extend their lead at the top of the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League this weekend when they host sixth-placed Fagiano.


Bellmare soar in Nabisco Cup, Grampus held

Last year’s MEIJI YASUDA J2 League winners Shonan Bellmare nabbed a 2-2 draw at Sanfrecce Hiroshima to put themselves in charge of Group A of the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup.

The promoted outfit were seconds away from celebrating a victory in Hiroshima, as Bruno Cesar and Shota Kobayashi scored in the first half to put them.

But Takuma Asano had already grabbed the temporary equaliser for Sanfrecce and he would pull them level again in the 93rd minute to break Bellmare hearts.

Nevertheless, Cho Kwi-Jea’s plucky side are still holding on to top spot, sitting a point ahead of Matsumoto Yamaga in the table after the latter’s 3-1 win at Ventforet Kofu.

Yamaga blitzed their hosts in the second period through Naoki Maeda and a brace from Tatsuya Sakai for their first win, despite falling a goal down early from Takuma Abe.

Albirex Niigata kept apace with the top of the group when they defeated Sagan Tosu 1-0 through Ryohei Yamazaki’s effort.

In Group B, Nagoya Grampus were unable to maintain their perfect record as Montedio Yamagata held them to a thrilling 3-3 draw.

The leaders took the lead three times via strikes from Akira Takeuchi, Asahi Yada and Milivoje Novakovic.

But Yamagata substitute Hiroki Bandai’s final leveller from a 92nd-minute header left Akira Nishino’s men rueing their missed opportunity to extend their lead.

The result allowed Kawasaki Frontale to keep sight of the top when they won 2-0 at Shimizu S-Pulse, thanks to Kentaro Moriya and Elsinho’s goals in the second half.

In the final game of round 3, Vissel Kobe consolidated Group B’s second spot after a goalless stalemate with Vegalta Sendai at Yurtec Stadium.


Urawa on the brink while Reysol entertain in ACL

Urawa Reds were left to lament Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Beijing Guoan that virtually ends their chances of progressing in the AFC Champions League.

The J.League leaders were bottom and already in dire straits without a single point when they took on the Group G leaders at Saitama Stadium 2002.

And hopes that they could nab their first win of their ACL campaign were soon dashed when Yu Dabao scored from a corner right after the half hour mark.

Mihailo Petrovic’s side emerged the stronger side in the second period and equalised by Tomoaki Makino’s header, but ultimately were unable to push on for the winner despite the visitors eventually going down to 10 men.

Kashiwa Reysol meanwhile remain second in Group E after playing out a 4-4 epic with Shandong Luneng - at one point going two goals in front, only to be pegged back again.

The first half itself ended 3-3, Kudo Masato plus Brazilian forwards Leandro and Cristiano cancelling out Luneng’s opener before the hosts roared back with a quickfire double.

The pace of the match failed to slow after the break as the Chinese outfit went into the lead next from the penalty spot, but Cristiano was on hand to rifle home his second from a free-kick to ensure Reysol remain in charge of their ACL destiny.


Yamaga announce high school student promotion

Matsumoto Yamaga will offer “High School Students pair tickets” for their Yamazaki Nabisco Cup game versus Sanfrecce Hiroshima on 22nd April.

Tickets will be limited to High School students who will show up in pairs and show proof of identity and affiliation to a high school.

The added cost of both tickets will be 1000 yen.

Yamaga are searching for their first win of the new cup campaign, after registering one draw and one loss in the two games they have played so far.


Japan giants get crucial first wins in AFC Champions League

Hiroyuki Takasaki popped up with last-minute winner in Kashima Antlers’s key 2-1 win over Guangzhou Evergrande to keep their AFC Champions League hopes alive.

The J.League side had struggled on the continent, losing their previous three games in Group H to sit bottom, but grabbed a vital win against their Chinese opponents on Tuesday.

Yasushi Endo tucked home from the penalty spot to put Antlers into a 19th minute lead, with substitute Taskashi’s dramatic headed winner well into stoppages erasing Evergrande’s temporary equaliser through Elkeson.

The win is a welcome boost for Toninho Cerezo’s outfit, who must now gain results against other group rivals Western Sydney Wanderers and FC Seoul to stand any chance of progress to the ACL last 16.

Gamba Osaka also had a similar tale when substitute Kotaro Omori netted the winner in their 2-1 away victory at Group F leaders Buriram United.

The Japanese champions found themselves travelling to Thailand urgently needing points after previously going winless in the first three games.

And Gamba rallied despite falling behind in the first 10 minutes after conceding directly from Theerathon Bunmathan’s corner, forward Lins equalising in the 40th minute before Omori fired home the clincher on a volley.

The three points puts Kenta Hasegawa’s men level on four points with next Group F opponents Guangzhou R&F, and hopeful of stealing the advantage in China in two weeks’ time.


J.League hand out suspensions

The J.League confirmed it dealt out suspensions of varying severity to several on Tuesday.

Kashima Antlers’ Caio and Shimizu S-Pulse pair Yosuke Kawai and Dejan Jakovic will all miss matchday 5 of the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League as a result.

Kim Min-Hyeok of Sagan Tosu was found to be engaging in dangerous play against Kashima Antlers’ Mu Kanazaki last Friday, and his penalty has been adjusted accordingly.

The Korean centre-back will therefore suspended for matchdays 5 and 6 of the league, and rounds 3 and 4 of the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup.

It was also confirmed S-Pulse goalkeeper Kenpei Usui will miss round 4 of the Nabisco Cup against Vegalta Sendai.


Machida mascot Zelvi thrills at cherry blossom festival

Machida Zelvia club mascot Zelvi thrilled crowds when he participated in the Machida Cherry Blossom Festival.

Despite poor weather on the day of the festival, Zelvi raised spirits of those present by taking part in quiz events and prize raffles.

The MEIJI YASUDA J3 League side had already been active in the community when they initiated their “National Sakura Invitation Project” recently.

Fans with the character for sakura in their names had been offered free general admission tickets for Zelvia’s clash with Blaublitz Akita on 29th March.


Doriva scores in training match win for Yamaga

Matsumoto Yamaga defeated the team of Niigata University of Health and Welfare 2-0 in a training match held at Shinshu Skypark on Sunday.

Yoshiro Abe scored in the first half for the promoted outfit, while Brazilian midfielder Doriva got the team’s second after the interval.

Yamaga impressed when they held MEIJI YASUDA J1 League leaders Urawa Reds to a slender 1-0 win last Saturday.

The side from Nagano are 12th in the top flight after the latest results at the weekend.


Sanfrecce announce ‘Come Running Discount!’ for April 8 Bellmare match

Sanfrecce Hiroshima have released details regarding their ‘Come Running Discount!’ for Wednesday’s match against Shonan Bellmare in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup.

Fans who arrive at Edion Stadium 30 minutes or later after kick-off will be eligible for the discount, which reduces all ticket prices by 50 percent.

Those who purchase tickets with the discount promotion will not be eligible for refunds or upgrades, however.

Hajime Moriyasu’s resurgent outfit are fourth in Group A of the cup, after drawing in the opening round at Albiirex Niigata.

The 2013 J1 League champions also sit sixth in the league with seven points after two wins and a draw out of four games.


King Kazu scores first of season in Yokohama defeat

Kazuyoshi Miura netted his first goal of the 2015 MEIJI YASUDA J2 League season on Sunday, though Yokohama FC still lost out to Jubilo Iwata 2-3.

The 48-year-old “King Kazu” scored the hosts' opener with a header from Junki Koike’s cross and went on to further delight the Yokohama crowd with his trademark celebrations.

Yokohama nevertheless succumbed to early promotion favourites Jubilo, who surged back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 and go on top of the table with 15 points from six games.

On the other hand, Yokohama have 8 points and sit in 11th place.


Vissel to issue new fans complimentary tickets

Vissel Kobe will be launching its “Welcome to new fans - free tickets” campaign for their next match at home.

200 tickets to the game on 12th April verus Ventforet Kofu will be available to those who have just joined a new school, company, or simply moved to the Kobe area.

Tickets can be claimed at the Vissel Station booth outside the Noevir Stadium once proof of identity that shows one of the above criteria has been met is obtained.


Tochigi mascot Tokky to perform dance show

Tochigi SC announced last Thursday that mascot Tokky will participate in an event hosted by club sponsors Kojima.

Tokky and the Tochigi SC Cheerleaders will feature in a dance show held at the Kojima x Bic Camera department store in Utsunomiya.

Fans attending the event will also have a chance to win tickets to Tochigi SC’s MEIJI YASUDA J2 League home games.


Matsumoto Yamaga receive bathing tickets to local hot spring

Matsumoto Yamaga have revealed that popular local hot spring centre Hot Plaza Asama have gifted them bathing tickets for the season.

Club players and staff will now be able to recover at the centre, which is run by Asama Hot Spring Hotel Cooperative, following their training sessions.

Matsumoto’s hot springs are famous throughout Japan, with Asama’s hot springs particularly popular as tourist destinations.

The club presently occupy 12th in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League, after their slender 1-0 loss at leaders Urawa Reds on Saturday.


S-Pulse’s Sugiyama delights at cherry blossom festival

Shimizu S-Pulse goalkeeper Rikihiro Sugiyama took part in the 26th annual Iharagawa Cherry Blossom Festival.

Sugiyama delighted fans by signing autographs and speaking to them at the celebrations, which took place in the club’s home city of Shizuoka.

Club cheerleaders Orange Wave were also present at the festival, and put on a dance performance following Sugiyama’s autograph session.


Avispa to host comedians before Hollyhock match

Comedic acts Bad Boys and Matenrou will perform before Avispa Fukuoka’s match against Mito Hollyhock this Sunday.

Avispa had announced on Wednesday that two of the Japan’s most popular entertainers will appear as special guests ahead of the MEIJI YASUDA J2 League clash.

Local musician Je’Glanz and Fukuoka-based idol unit I’S9 will also be putting on performances for supporters at LEVEL-5 Stadium.

Just a single point separates Masami Ihara’s side from their visitors Hollyhock in the table.


Urawa renew Komaba naming rights

Urawa Reds announced it had completed the renewal of the naming rights for Saitama City Komaba Athletic Stadium on Wednesday.

The club will pay 15 million yen for the stadium to continue being known as URAWA KOMABA STADIUM, effective till the end of March 2018.

The agreement also covers the stadium’s auxiliary field, which will continue to be named REDS HEART-FULL FIELD KOMABA.

URAWA KOMABA STADIUM, Urawa Reds' home before their relocation to Saitama Stadium 2002, is presently the grounds for defending Nadeshiko League champions Urawa Reds Ladies.