The Asahi Shimbun reports that J.League Division 2 side Yokohama FC has parted company with manager Yasuyuki Kishino. Kishino, who was appointed in 2010, led his side to an 18th placed finished in the 2011 season, and a single point from three matches so far this season has led to his dismissal. Kishino is the first J.League manager to lose his job this season. Head Coach Takaihro Taguchi has been appointed caretaker manager until the search for Kishino’s replacement has been completed.
Samurai Blue star and Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa had more reason than usual to celebrate in his appearance for Die Schawrzgelben on Saturday, the Asahi also notes. Kagawa netted the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen on his 23rd birthday to ensure table-topping Dortmund’s gap over second-placed Bayern Munich remained at five points, and helped Dortmund set a record unbeaten streak of 20 matches. Kagawa’s goal came in the 8th minute, and he nearly doubled his tally in the 24th minute, seeing Werder keeper Sebastian Mielitz palm his effort on to the post.
The Mainichi Shimbun leads with confirmation that 2012 AFC Champions League participants Kashiwa Reysol, Nagoya Grampus, Gamba Osaka and FC Tokyo have byes to the quarter-final stages of the 2012 J.League Cup. The tournament, for which entry is restricted to J.League Division 1 teams, sees the remaining 14 league teams split into two groups who play in a mini-league format, the winners and runners-up from both groups joining the Champions League teams in the last eight. The group stage commences tomorrow (20 March), with the final taking place on 3 November at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
And finally, the Yomiuri Shimbun focuses on the F.League, the top league for futsal in Japan. Nagoya Oceans have won the National Championships yet again, however Osaka came back from a goal down in a dramatic match at the Yoyogi National Gynasium to win 3-1 and secure second place in the tournament and their first medal-placing in two years, just a single point behind the eventual winners.