2012 in Japanese football

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2012 season

Japanese football in 2012

Domestic leagues[edit]

Promotion and relegation[edit]

Teams relegated from J. League Division 1

Teams promoted to J. League Division 1

Teams relegated from J. League Division 2

No relegation to the Japan Football League

Teams promoted to J. League Division 2

J. League Division 1[edit]

Sanfrecce Hiroshima won the J. League title, their first in 42 years and first in the J. League era, marking their sixth time overall atop the Japanese football league system. Vegalta Sendai, which led the table riding on the wave of their fourth-place finish the previous year, ended up in second place after Albirex Niigata defeated them in the round before last. Urawa Red Diamonds was able to pass four other teams, including newly promoted Sagan Tosu, who surprisingly was in third place in the penultimate round.

Consadole Sapporo was relegated on September 30, the earliest a team has been relegated in the modern-day era. Niigata's victory enabled them to climb to safety while Vissel Kobe was relegated after six seasons. Gamba Osaka, despite scoring more goals than anyone else, had a poor defense and allowed many goals in, causing them to be relegated after 26 seasons in the top division.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima (C) 34 19 7 8 63 34 +29 64 Qualification to 2012 Club World Cup and 2013 Champions League
2 Vegalta Sendai 34 15 12 7 59 43 +16 57 Qualification to 2013 Champions League
3 Urawa Red Diamonds 34 15 10 9 47 42 +5 55
4 Yokohama F. Marinos 34 13 14 7 44 33 +11 53
5 Sagan Tosu 34 15 8 11 48 39 +9 53
6 Kashiwa Reysol 34 15 7 12 57 52 +5 52 Qualification to 2013 Champions League 1
7 Nagoya Grampus 34 15 7 12 46 47 −1 52
8 Kawasaki Frontale 34 14 8 12 51 50 +1 50
9 Shimizu S-Pulse 34 14 7 13 39 40 −1 49
10 FC Tokyo 34 14 6 14 47 44 +3 48
11 Kashima Antlers 34 12 10 12 50 43 +7 46
12 Júbilo Iwata 34 13 7 14 57 53 +4 46
13 Omiya Ardija 34 11 11 12 38 45 −7 44
14 Cerezo Osaka 34 11 9 14 47 53 −6 42
15 Albirex Niigata 34 10 10 14 29 34 −5 40
16 Vissel Kobe (R) 34 11 6 17 41 50 −9 39 Relegation to 2013 J. League Division 2
17 Gamba Osaka (R) 34 9 11 14 67 65 +2 38
18 Consadole Sapporo (R) 34 4 2 28 25 88 −63 14

Updated to games played on 1 December 2012.
Source: J. League Division 1
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1The winners of the 2012 Emperor's Cup qualified for the group stage of the 2013 AFC Champions League.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

J. League Division 2[edit]

Ventforet Kofu returned to the top flight at the first attempt, but this time they did so as champions. Shonan Bellmare returned to the top division as well, after two seasons. Oita Trinita, despite overwhelming odds due to its position and the playoff rules which favored the three higher-ranked teams, won the playoff and returned to the top flight after three seasons.

Newly promoted Machida Zelvia, despite hiring Osvaldo Ardiles as their manager, could not cope with professionalism and finished in bottom place, being relegated as V-Varen Nagasaki won the JFL championship.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Ventforet Kofu (C) (P) 42 24 14 4 63 35 +28 86 Promotion to 2013 J. League Division 1
2 Shonan Bellmare (P) 42 20 15 7 66 43 +23 75
3 Kyoto Sanga 42 23 5 14 61 45 +16 74 Qualification to promotion playoffs
4 Yokohama FC 42 22 7 13 62 45 +17 73
5 JEF United Chiba 42 21 9 12 61 33 +28 72
6 Oita Trinita (O) (P) 42 21 8 13 59 40 +19 71
7 Tokyo Verdy 42 20 6 16 65 46 +19 66
8 Fagiano Okayama 42 17 14 11 41 34 +7 65
9 Giravanz Kitakyushu 42 19 7 16 53 47 +6 64
10 Montedio Yamagata 42 16 13 13 51 49 +2 61
11 Tochigi SC 42 17 9 16 50 49 +1 60
12 Matsumoto Yamaga 42 15 14 13 46 43 +3 59
13 Mito HollyHock 42 15 11 16 47 49 −2 56
14 Roasso Kumamoto 42 15 10 17 40 48 −8 55
15 Tokushima Vortis 42 13 12 17 45 49 −4 51
16 Ehime FC 42 12 14 16 47 46 +1 50
17 Thespa Kusatsu 42 12 11 19 31 45 −14 47
18 Avispa Fukuoka 42 9 14 19 53 68 −15 41
19 Kataller Toyama 42 9 11 22 38 59 −21 38
20 Gainare Tottori 42 11 5 26 33 78 −45 38
21 FC Gifu 42 7 14 21 27 55 −28 35
22 Machida Zelvia (R) 42 7 11 24 34 67 −33 32 Relegation to 2013 Japan Football League 1

Updated to games played on 11 November 2012.
Source: J. League Division 2
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd goal differential; 3rd goals scored; 4th head-to-head results; 5th disciplinary points; 6th draw
If two clubs are tied for first place, both clubs will be declared champions.

1 The promotion and relegation between J2 and JFL will take place only if more than one promotion-eligible (i.e. having a J.League Associate Membership) JFL team finished above second place and playoff will be played only if a eligible JFL team finished in second place(See the corresponding section for further details). As only 2012 Japan Football League Champion V-Varen Nagasaki has the Associate Membership among the top 2 teams. Machida Zelvia was relegated immediately but no relegation/playoff was taken place for FC Gifu which finished 21st.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Japan Football League[edit]

Although Arte Takasaki withdrew from the league due to economic problems, the JFL decided to go with a 17-team format. V-Varen Nagasaki won the tournament, joining the professional ranks automatically.

Sagawa Shiga withdrew after the league following parent company Sagawa Express's decision to close the team, leaving Tochigi Uva to playout against the Regional Promotion Series third place.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 V-Varen Nagasaki (C) (P) 32 20 7 5 57 24 +33 67 Promotion to the 2013 J. League Division 2
2 Nagano Parceiro 32 17 7 8 57 34 +23 58
3 Sagawa Shiga (R) 32 16 9 7 61 37 +24 57 Withdrawn 1
4 Kamatamare Sanuki 32 15 8 9 49 29 +20 53
5 Honda FC 32 16 5 11 55 39 +16 53
6 YSCC Yokohama 32 15 4 13 58 50 +8 49
7 Sagawa Printing 32 12 9 11 43 43 0 45
8 MIO Biwako Shiga 32 11 10 11 53 52 +1 43
9 FC Ryukyu 32 12 7 13 58 62 −4 43
10 Yokogawa Musashino 32 11 8 13 35 50 −15 41
11 Fujieda MYFC 32 11 7 14 39 48 −9 40
12 Sony Sendai 32 9 12 11 27 29 −2 39
13 Blaublitz Akita 32 9 10 13 33 41 −8 37
14 Zweigen Kanazawa 32 8 12 12 33 41 −8 36
15 Hoyo Oita 32 9 8 15 40 57 −17 35
16 Honda Lock 32 7 7 18 28 56 −28 28
17 Tochigi Uva 32 4 10 18 36 70 −34 22 Qualification to pro/rel playoffs

Updated to games played on 18 November 2012.
Source: Japan Football League
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd goal differential; 3rd goals scored; 4th head-to-head results; 5th disciplinary points; 6th draw
V-Varen Nagasaki topped the table at the end of the 17th round and thus were awarded JFL seed for 2012 Emperor's Cup.[1]
1On 21 October Sagawa Express Co., the owner and operator of Sagawa Shiga FC, have announced that after the season the club will withdraw from JFL and cease its operations.[2]
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Japanese Regional Leagues[edit]

Kantō champions SC Sagamihara and Tōhoku champions Fukushima United won first and second place in the Regional Promotion Series, being thus promoted automatically, while Hokkaidō champions Norbritz Hokkaido battled in the playout against Tochigi Uva but lost.

Domestic cups[edit]

Emperor's Cup[edit]

Main article: 2012 Emperor's Cup

J. League Cup[edit]

Main article: 2012 J. League Cup

3 November 2012
13:05 JST (UTC+9)
Shimizu S-Pulse 1 - 2 (a.e.t.) Kashima Antlers
Omae Goal 77' (pen.) Report Shibasaki Goal 73' (pen.)93'

Japanese Super Cup[edit]

3 March 2012
13:35 JST (UTC+9)
Kashiwa Reysol 2 – 1 FC Tokyo
Wagner Goal 27'
Leandro Goal 45' (pen.)
Report Goal 64' Aria

International club competitions[edit]

Suruga Bank Championship[edit]

FIFA Club World Cup[edit]

Will take place between 6 and 16 December 2012. Since the tournament is hosted in Japan the winners of the J. League will be invited to take part. If the AFC Champions League winner is from Japan, then the highest placed non-Japanese team of the AFC Champions League will be invited in place of the J. League winner.

National team[edit]

Men[edit]


Goal scorers[edit]

Place Position Name Friendlies Kirin Cup WC Qualifying Total
1 MF Keisuke Honda 0 0 4 4
FW Ryoichi Maeda 0 1 3 4
3 MF Shinji Kagawa 0 1 1 2
DF Yuzo Kurihara 0 0 2 2
FW Shinji Okazaki 0 0 2 2
6 MF Jungo Fujimoto 0 1 0 1
DF Tomoaki Makino 0 1 0 1
MF Yasuhito Endō 0 1 0 1
Own Goal 0 1 0 1
FW Mike Havenaar 0 1 0 1
FW Hiroshi Kiyotake 0 0 1 1
TOTALS 1 6 13 20

Women[edit]

References[edit]