NTV Beleza Japan Nadeshiko League

NTV Beleza kicked off their 2014 Japanese Nadeshiko League campaign with a 5-1 win over AS Elfen Saitama.

The season’s opening game was played at the Ajinomoto Field West Stadium in Tokyo in which 1,238 fans attended.

Midfielder Mizuho Sakaguchi broke the deadlock in the 31st minute to give NTV Beleza the lead. This was doubled just over 10 minutes later thanks to Yuka Momiki.

Two minutes after the half-time break, NTV Beleza increased their lead to 3-0 through Yu Nakazato.

AS Elfen Saitama responded in the 51st minute with a goal scored by Yuri Saito but Beleza continued to dominate the game and in the 58th minute, Yuka Momiki scored her second goal of the game to make it 4-1.

Chiaki Shimada completed the scoring for Beleza in the 90th minute.

Reigning league champions INAC Kobe Leonessa suffered a 3-2 defeat by Urawa Reds in their season opener at home in front of 3,517 fans.

Vegalta Sendai, Albirex Niigata and Yunogo Belle all won their opening games. View the full round up of the opening season matches and the current league standings.

The top-tier women’s football league in Japan has implemented a new system this season as explained by Ken Suzuki.

10 teams will compete on a home-and-away basis in the first half of the season and based on those results, in the second half of the season the top six teams will play home and away in their quest for the league title.

The bottom four teams from the first half will also play against each other for the remaining half of the season, and the team that ends up in last place will be relegated to the Nadeshiko Challenge League to be replaced by the champions from Japan’s second division.

The ninth-placed team will play off against the Challenge League’s second-placed team for the final promotion/relegation spot.

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