J.League, Samurai Blue and Nadeshiko Fixtures (Football Japan Fixtures Calendar 2013)

A full, comprehensive fixtures calendar for the forthcoming Japanese football season, including kick-off times and stadium addresses, and which covers J.League Divisions 1 and 2, the Yamazaki Nabisco and Emperor’s Cups, the AFC Champions League matches in which Japanese sides are participating, and senior Men’s and Women’s internationals can be accessed at the following links:


iCal (.ics file type) is compatible with most calendar software including Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes and Yahoo Calendar. It will also work with Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. Any updates made to the calendar as the season progresses will automatically be reflected on your device.

To add the Calendar to a Google Calendar, click “Other Calendars”, then “Add by URL”. Copy and paste the iCal link provided above into the field marked “URL”, then click “Add Calendar”. The Football Japan calendar will be added to your list of calendars. A summary of these instructions on the Google website can be found here.

To add the Calendar to an iOS device, tap the “Settings” icon. Tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”, and then “Add Account…”. Then press “Other”, and “Add Subscribed Calendar”. Copy and paste the iCal link from above into the “Server” field, and press “Next”. Your device will then attempt to verify the subscription, and once successful, simply choose “Save” to complete the subscription. However, if you have any other Apple devices it is highly recommended that you first subscribe via Calendar or iCal on OS X, before adding the calendar on iOS. See page 67 of the current iPad User Guide here for further information if required.

Details on how to subscribe to the calendar using Microsoft Outlook can be found here, for Lotus Notes users a video guide has been produced here, and details on subscriptions via Yahoo Calendar are available here.

If you wish to see Japan Football League or L.League fixtures added to the calendar, or if you have any feedback or suggestions, please send me an email or contact me on Twitter at


FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Group C MD 3 Results and Table

The Little Nadeshiko’s final Group C game was one in which their domination was practically total, reflected not only in the 9-0 scoreline, but in a shot count which totaled twenty-six, seventeen of those on target, while restricting Mexico to a single effort.

Two goals apiece from Akari Shiraki and Ayaka Inoue were bookended by strikes from Risa Shimizu, Yui Maruyama, Hina Sugita, Yuka Momiki and Mizuki Kanamura. Inoue’s splendid swerving eighteen-yard strike ten minutes after the restart and Momiki’s 79th minute free-kick were the pick of several well-worked goals, with Maruyama providing two assists. Japan end Group C as winners with an impressive of tally of seventeen goals scored and none conceded, and will proceed to the quarter-final stage of the competition confident of further progress.


Shimizu 8′
Narumiya 18′ (Pen.)
Shiraki 22′, 29′
Inoue 28′, 56′
Sugita 69′
Momiki 79′
Nakamura 86′
9 Mexico
New Zealand
Jensen 4′
Own Goal 45’+1
Puketapu 77′
3 Brazil
Bianca 10′
Brena 26′
Andressa 35′ (Pen.)
Camila 55′

(Matches played 30 September 2012)

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Japan 3 3 0 0 17 0 +17 9
Brazil 3 2 0 1 5 8 -3 6
Mexico 2 1 0 2 1 10 -9 3
New Zealand 3 0 0 3 3 8 -5 0

Japan win Group C, and will face Ghana in the quarter-final to be held in Baku on 5 October, kick-off 16:00 BST/24:00 JST.

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Group C MD 2 Results and Table


Japan eventually ran out comfortable winners in their penultimate group game of the 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, but they were made to work by a technically limited, determined New Zealand team deliberately organised to nullify the attacking talents of the Little Nadeshiko.

Head Coach Hiroshi Yoshida chose to rest five players from the side which cruised to a 5-0 victory over Brazil in their opening fixture, and made wholesale changes to the traditional three-player attacking midfield which saw Yuka Momiki, Hina Sugita and Miki Ito present in the starting line-up. Japan’s superiority in dominating territory and possession was once again evident, but Paul Temple’s team were frequently able to stifle Japan in the latter third of the pitch through a tightly packed defense and midfield, Hannah Carlsen and Daisy Cleverley particularly effective in ensuring angled passes and dribbles through the centre of the pitch were blocked.

While Rin Sumida should have converted a chance early on, a lengthy and artful passage of ball retention, recycling and distribution eventually leading to Yuka Momiki driving a cross along the six-yard area which was missed by the centre midfielder, very few clear chances presented themselves in the first period, and the outstanding Lily Alfeld was on hand in the New Zealand goal to first deny Hina Sugita and then Sumida in making two excellent saves to ensure the tie remained goalless.

Two changes altered the complexion of play in the second period. The left-back Laura Merrin, who had rendered the lively Ito largely ineffectual, was stretchered off towards the end of the first period after a nasty collision with one of her own defenders, and Ito was withdrawn at half-time for Yui Hasegawa. Hasegawa’s influence on play was immediate, and she scored the first of her two goals on sixty minutes. Momiki’s outswinging corner wasn’t dealt with by the New Zealand defence, and an accidental touch from Saka Ishii enabled Hasegawa to guide a shot into the bottom left-corner, Alfeld unable to push the ball around her right upright.

With twelve minutes to play Hasegawa doubled the lead, collecting a pass from Sumida and breaking infield before finding the top of the net with a swerving 22-yard effort. Japan wrapped up the victory and the three points in the third minute of stoppage time, Megan Lee bundling over Sumida in the penalty area, and Sumida stepped up to place the spot kick beyond the reach of Alfeld.

Japan will top Group C provided they avoid a crushing defeat against Mexico, and should they emerge as group victors they will face the Runner-up of a very competitive Group D in the quarter-finals, as they attempt to go one place better than in the 2010 edition of the competition.


0 Brazil
Byanca 82′
Hasegawa 60′, 78′
Sumida (Pen.) 90’+3
3 New Zealand

(Matches played 26 September 2012)

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Japan 2 2 0 0 8 0 +8 6
Mexico 2 1 0 1 1 1 +0 3
Brazil 2 1 0 1 1 5 -4 3
New Zealand 2 0 0 2 0 4 -4 0

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Group C MD 1 Results and Table


The Little Nadeshiko opened their 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup account in emphatic fashion, as they romped to a 5-0 victory over Brazil in Baku, Azerbaijan. In typical fashion Japan dominated possession and chances created, seeing nearly two-thirds of the ball while finding the target double the number of times as Brazil, and happily Japan married a finishing touch that has been lacking on occasion across their national teams to their ever-present technique.

Japan took the lead with just two minutes on the clock. Yui Hasegawa’s arcing shot rebounded off the crossbar, and with three of her teammates in close attendance and a Brazilian defence almost wholly absent Rika Masuya was left a simple finish from three yards. Fifteen minutes later Hiroshi Yoshida’s side extended their advantage, Hasegawa expertly guiding a pass into Masuya’s path, and she placed the ball beyond Nicole’s dive into the bottom left corner for her second of the match.

Two became three shortly after the restart, as Nicole palmed a delivery away from under her crossbar, the ball merely falling to a loitering Yui Narumiya to prod the ball home from close range. Substitute Hina Sugita scored the fourth, collecting a fine crossfield pass before turning inside Julia and firing past the Brazilian goalkeeper, and Narumiya rounded off an excellent opening performance for the Little Nadeshiko with a solo effort, swerving past two defenders and smashing a shot against the crossbar, then driving the rebound high into the net.

Japan next meet New Zealand on 26 September, and victory against the Young Football Ferns will all but guarantee their progress to the quarter-final stage.

Perez 36′
1 New Zealand
Masuya 2′, 17′
Narumiya 49′, 67′
Sugita 63′
5 Brazil

(Matches played 23 September 2012)

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Japan 1 1 0 0 5 0 +5 3
Mexico 3 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3
New Zealand 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
Brazil 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0

FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Semi-Final: Japan v. Germany


An outstanding Germany side proved too strong for the Young Nadeshiko as they scored three goals without reply in the semi-final of the Under-20 Women’s World Cup, Japan suffering the worst possible start as they conceded inside the first minute. Hikaru Naomoto, surrounded by Kathrin Hendrich, Nicole Rolser and Lena Lotzen close to the left touchline was forced to relinquish possession, and Dzsenifer Marozsán’s superb close control enable her to evade the attentions of Nozomi Fujita before playing a wonderful through-ball for Melanie Leupolz to slot past Sakiko Ikeda.

Against a side which has readily capitalised on mistakes made by their opponents during this tournament, Japan could ill afford the sort of basic errors which led to Germany scoring their second and third goals with only twenty minutes elapsed in the match.

Defender Leonie Maier swivelled on halfway and hit a long, hopeful pass towards Japan’s penalty area. Shiori Kinoshita misjudged the flight of the ball and failed to connect properly with her clearing header, allowing Marozsán, once more showing excellent technique, to lob the advancing Ikeda.

With referee Lucila Venegas showing little interest in attempting to correct an at times overly-aggressive approach taken by the reigning Under-20 World Cup holders, Japan were poorly matched physically, and the third goal put the result beyond doubt. At a outswinging corner delivered from the right both Hikari Takagi and Kinoshita were drawn to the ball and the the dangerous Luisa Wensing, but neither were alert to the presence of Lena Lotzen, and unmarked she headed her sixth goal of the competition.

The addition of Kumi Yokoyama and Ayaka Michigami contributed to a more evenly-matched second period, but an exceptional German rearguard provided further evidence of why it is yet to breached, limiting Japan largely to half-chances and setting a tournament record for the most minutes played without conceding a goal. It will come as little surprise if Germany repeat their 3-0 Group D victory over the United States when they meet again in the final.

Japan will face Nigeria in the Third Place play-off, to be played at the National Olympic Stadium on 8 September, kick-off 15:30 JST.

0 Germany
Leupolz 1′
Marozsán 13′
Lotzen 19′

(Match played 4 September 2012)

Japan Women’s Under-20 v Germany Women’s Under-20 – Five Thoughts

The Young Nadeshiko meet Germany in the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup semi-final on 4 September, and the current holders of the Under-20 title and 2011 European Under-19 championship will pose the sternest challenge yet of Japan’s title credentials. Ahead of would should be an enthralling contest, here are five areas which could prove crucial in deciding which side advances to the final:

Continue reading

FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Quarter-Final: Japan v. South Korea


The Young Nadeshiko are through to the semi-finals of the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup following a very convincing victory against South Korea. Hanae Shibata once again justified her selection ahead of Kumi Yokoyama, first beating Jeon Ha-Neul to a superb Asuka Nishikawa pass to roll the ball past the goalkeeper into the empty net, and then scoring her second with a sumptuous twenty yard finish, which came after excellent build-up play on the right and a delightful pass from Mina Tanaka.

In between Shibata’s goals, Jeoun Eun-Ha had levelled the scores for South Korea, Lee Geum-Min’s trickery on the left enabling her to evade the attentions of Hikari Takagi and float a cross for an unmarked Jeoun to head home from six yards. Yōko Tanaka, however, took her tally to five in the competition eight minutes before half-time. Takagi exchanged passes with Mina Tanaka before driving to the by-line, and her pull back provided the INAC Kobe Leonessa midfielder with the simplest of finishes from six yards.

Japan will meet Germany in the semi-final, to be played on 4 September at the National Olympic Stadium, kick-off 19:30 JST.

Shibata 8′, 19′
Tanaka Y 37′
3 South Korea
Jeoun E-H 15′

(Match played 30 August 2012)