Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
J2 2008 Table (FC Gifu Result):
100 Sanfreece Hiroshima (1-1) (0-4) (1-7)
78 Montedio Yamagata (5-3) (2-1) (1-2)
70 Vegalta Sendai (0-1) (1-1) (0-1)
69 Cerezo Osaka (0-1) (0-5) (0-6)
65 Shonan Bellmare (2-4) (0-0) (0-3)
64 Sagan Tosu (0-1) (0-0) (1-0)
59 Ventforet Kofu (1-1) (0-0) (0-4)
58 Avispa Fukuoka (5-1) (0-1) (1-1)
53 Thespa Kusatsu (0-1) (1-1) (1-3)
50 Yokohama FC (2-3) (1-0) (0-1)
47 Mito Hollyhock (3-1) (0-1) (4-1)
43 Roasso Kumamoto (2-0) (0-0) (1-1)
42 FC Gifu
37 Ehime FC (0-3) (0-0) (0-1)
29 Tokushima Vortis (2-1) (1-0) (1-1)
They ended with winning records over Tokushima, Mito, Kumamoto and Yamagata.
Closest rivals ended up being Kumamoto, Tosu and suprisingly Yamagata which was also probably the most entertaining as in three games Gifu scored 8 goals and Yamagata 6.
Teams yet to defeat FC Gifu:
Tokushima Vortis, Roasso Kumamoto (incl. JFL)
Teams FC Gifu has yet to defeat (J2):
Sanfreece Hiroshima, Vegalta Sendai, Cerezo Osaka, Shonan Bellmare, Ventforet Kofu, Thespa Kusatsu, Ehime FC
Teams FC Gifu has lost all games against:
Teams FC Gifu has yet to score against:
Cerezo Osaka, Ehime FC
Results Round 1-45:
Results overall: Won 10 Drew 12 Lost 20Results - Home: Won 3 Drew 6 Lost 12 (Goals 12-32)
Results - Away: Won 7 Drew 6 Lost 8 (Goals 29-37)
In the end Gifu roughly won a quarter, drew a quarter and lost about half of their games. Considering they just came up from the JFL it's not too bad a result.
The problem being that they lost over half of their games at home. Most teams came to Nagara with the confidence that they would come out with some points and Yamagata, Tokushima and Sagan were the only teams to lose at Nagara Stadium.
Goals:For: 41 (13th) - average per game 0.98
Against 69 (12th) - average per game 1.64
FC Gifu started the 2008 season with some of the best attacking in the league. But they resorted to a more defensive style of play during a third of the way through the season and never recovered from then.
Defense, although on paper being one of the worst in the league, was generally pretty tight and only a few blowouts against Hiroshima, Osaka etc made their record look bad. Generally defense wasn't too much of a problem, but scoring goals was.
Top Goal Scorers 2008:
9 Katagiri Atsushi
8 Masato Katayama
5 Takashi Umeda
4 Kazunori Kan
3 Kazumasa Takagi
2 Hiromi Kojima
2 Satoshi Otomo
1 Koji Yoshimura
1 Yasuyuki Moriyama
1 Kan Kikuchi
1 Shinya Kawashima
1 Shinya Aikawa
1 Koichi Sato
So Katagiri pips Katayama for the title. Katayama faded badly towards the end of the year, whereas Katagiri looked useful throughout. In reality though, the loss of a super-striker, a "Takahashi" of Roasso, a "Arata" of Mito, really hurt Gifu. It will be interesting to see who, if anybody, steps up next year.
Player of the year:
Without a doubt, Takashi Umeda. The Gifu-born midfielder was on-loan from Oita Trinita for the 2008 season. He controlled the midfield well, troubled defense with his dribbling and scored a few goals too. He will be missed in 2009.
Other creditable mention goes to MF Kazunori Kan who played very well in his first year in the J2.
Any game against Yamagata! All games were dramatic and there were some great goals scored.
FC Gifu 5 - 1 Avispa Fukuoka. Need I say more!
FC Gifu 1 - 1 Sanfreece Hiroshima. Gave the big boys a fright at home and really played to their potential almost snatching a win in the final minutes.
FC Gifu 1 - 0 Sagan Tosu. The last game of the season and Gifu farewelled over half of their players in style recording a impressive win over midtable Tosu.
Katayama "Gaccha"'s goal against Tosu. A great volley shoot and a match-winner.
78650 (21 games) avg. 3745 (13th)
FC Gifu lost plenty of games at home and accordingly general spectators began to stop going to the games. The biggest attendance recorded was over 8000 in the game vs Yokohama FC. (Thanks to Yokohama FC for being in the J2 just for that reason!!)
If Gifu start to show some results at home next season then I'm still optimistic of getting an average of at least 4000 at games next year.
At the end of the day, Gifu did pretty well to keep themselves of the bottom of the table and finish a respectable 13th. Although they finished behind Kumamoto they will at least be satisfied that they still have yet to lose to them.
Although players developed alot within the year, it's going to be tough next year with over half of the players gone. Next year will be a tough one. With the inclusion of three new teams Gifu is really going to have to fight hard to keep of the bottom of the table. And the resposibility will go on the fifteen or so new young players as well as the five or so remaining experienced players.
What will 2009 bring?? Nobody knows. But weak or strong - I love Gifu!!
2008 Otsukaresama deshita!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
FC Gifu 1 - 0 Sagan Tosu (Ht 1-0)
FC Gifu finished the season in spectacular style with a great 1-0 win over Sagan Tosu. Gifu, spurred on by the departure of many of their fellow players for the 2009 season, played like a team possessed and dominated Tosu for long periods of the game. Their sole goal came through Atsushi Katagiri, who in turn became the season's top-scorer for Gifu.
In the end FC Gifu finished 13th in their first season in the J2, a point behind rivals Roasso Kumamoto, but ahead of both Ehime FC and Tokushima Vortis.
Well done boys!
Season report to follow....
Monday, December 1, 2008
Shonan Bellmare 3 - 0 FC Gifu (Ht 1-0)
Shonan Bellmare, with a place in the promotion/relegation match to play for easily knocked over Gifu in the weekend.
Although the match was reasonably even until the last 15 minutes Gifu never looked like they were going to trouble Shonan and in the end got stung by two late goals.
Next weekends final game at home will be an important one for a number of reasons.
a) Confirmation of 13th place on the ladder. If they lose there's still a chance that Ehime FC can overtake them.
b) Last game. Many players will be leaving after this season and it will be their last game in the Gifu jersey.
c) 2. The number of times that Gifu has won at home this season. Enough said.
d) Sagan Tosu. Lost 1-0, drew 0-0, yet to defeat the men from down south.
e) Last game of the year. For the fans and players!
Final Game December 6th (home) vs Sagan Tosu
Sunday, November 9, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 1 Yokohama FC (ht 0-0)
Not for the first time this season Gifu slumped to a 1-0 loss at home. over 8000 fans turned up to watch the game (and Kazu!) and appropriately Gifu lost the game (as they inevitably do when a big crowd turns up!).
The game itself was pretty even, both teams creating chances, but the only difference between the two teams was the fact that Yokohama were able to convert one goal through DF Yamada in the 66th minute.
After Kumamoto beat Ehime yesterday, todays result sees Gifu slip down to 13th on the table.
Next week - Bye
Next game November 30th (away) vs Shonan Bellmare
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Nagoya Grampus 1 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)
Gifu lost this one, but at the same time they gave J1 Grampus a lesson in how to play football by dominating throughout the game, unfortunately just not on the scoreboard.
Nagoya came out firing and for the first 15 or so minutes and set up multiple chances but were let down by poor decision making in the end. After this point Gifu began to take control of the game through Umeda and Kitamura and by the second half were spending the majority of the play camped down in the Grampus half. They had their chances, and one Aikawa header hit the post, but it was grampus who five minutes into three minute injury time got the winner through Yoshida as GK Hino misjudged a cross kick allowing Grampus to advance and play Omiya next week.
Pixy, the Grampus coach summed it all up though when he effectively said afterwards "I'm sorry that we won. Gifu definitely played the better football today".
So I'm very proud of Gifu. Great effort but just fell short. Taught Grampus a lesson in football though, and that means alot to the people of Gifu.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Roasso Kumamoto 1 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 0-1)
FC Gifu kept their unbeaten record against Roasso Kumamoto in tact as well as maintaining their place at 12th on the J2 table.
Gifu started off the match well, attacking from all corners, but a defensive lapse in the 34th minute led to Roasso FW Nakayama sneaking one past GK Hino.
In the second half Gifu DF was red-carded after grabbing Kumamoto ace Takahashi's arm in a sprint to the ball. Although he cost his team a player on the field, he probably also saved them from being two points down.
So the game continued at a fast pace but it was Gifu, through back-from-injury MF Kazunori Kan, that struck the killer-blow in the 89th minute. It was a beautiful goal that just pipped past the keeper and into the top corner of the net.
Gifu then held on for a frantic few minutes to seal a well-deserved draw, and bragging rights against rivals Roasso for another year.
Next game: November 2nd (away) vs Nagoya Grampus (Emperor's Cup)
Next J2 game: November 9th (home) vs Yokohama FC
With only three games remaining for Gifu can they maintain there place at 12th on the table?? If they beat Yokohama this week they could even move on up to 11th. With Kumamoto and Ehime hot on their heels though there's still a possibility of finishing 14th so there's no room for complacency!
But first comes Gifu's first win over Nagoya Grampus next week!!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
FC Gifu 1 - 2 Montedio Yamagata (ht 0-1)
FC Gifu's terrible run at home continued when they lost to Yamagata to leave their record of just two home wins this season in tact. Yamagata on the other hand broke their duck against Gifu and at the same time consolidated second place on the table.
Today both teams came out to play and while Gifu started of with a hiss and a roar it was Yamagata who struck first in the 30th minute, against the run of play, when DF Ishikawa capitalised on a keeper-less goal after Gifu GK Hino had dashed out to meet the ball.
Yamagata then struck again in the 63rd minute when giant FW Toyoda headed a ball in from a corner kick.
It looked like the game was over but then Gifu replied through reserve FW Koichi Sato who beat one defender and shot nicely past the keeper to score in his debut for FC Gifu.
Gifu then kept the pressure on Yamagata but time ran out and Montedio left Gifu relieved to be taking three points with them.
FC Gifu now stand even on points with rivals Roasso Kumamoto on the table. Next weeks game in Kumamoto now has extra meaning to it. Gifu are unbeaten against Kumamoto in the JFL and J2 so far and will be looking to keep their record in tact. A loss against in-form Roasso will mean a drop in places on the on the ladder.
The road is long and hard. Ganbare FC Gifu!
Next game October 26th (away) vs Roasso Kumamoto
Monday, October 13, 2008
FC Gifu played Zweigen Kanazawa in the third round of the Emperor's Cup and managed to scrape out a 1-0 win after Kanazawa's tough defense finally gave in in the 83rd minute. The game was played in Toyama which is about three hours drive from Gifu City and only one hours drive from Kanazawa City. About 1500 spectators turned up to the game but they enjoyed a tough fast moving game.
In the first half both teams had only two or three shots at goal each, and while the teams looked pretty even, Kanazawa looked more dangerous in front of the goal.
When the second half came around though, Gifu started to up the pace and looked especially dangerous with the injection of FW Katagiri midway through the half. In the end they were rewarded with a goal to FW Aikawa who knocked in a chip from MF Kitamura in the 83rd minute. That was enough to seal a hard fought win for Gifu. The pressure was on them for this game and they produced the goods.
All this means that in round 4 Gifu will take a trip to Toyota Stadium to play neighbors Nagoya Grampus. With the pressure off Gifu and onto Nagoya this should make for an interesting match!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Mito Hollyhock 1 - 4 FC Gifu (ht 1-1)
Gifu stopped their winless streak at 13 with a hard fought win over Mito today. It's been a long time coming and was against the odds as Mito were in red-hot form coming into this game. However the Mito that beat Sendai last week failed to turn up to the game and were met by a Gifu team determined to get themselves out of their rut.
The game though, particularly the first half was pretty even. In the 7th minute Mito struck through MF Hori. Gifu replied in the 36th minute when a deceptive kick by DF Kawashima somehow found it past Mito Keeper Homma and into the back of the net. Mito had another couple of great chances but were only denied by some fine keeping from Hino.
In the second half a great goal in the 52nd minute by MF Umeda put Gifu on the front foot which they maintained until the end adding much needed consolation goals to FW Katagiri and MF Otomo in the 79th and 89th minutes repectively.
Mito didn't play as bad as the scoreline suggests, whereas Gifu also didn't play as good as the scoreline suggests, but for the first time in a while the ball seemed to roll the way of Gifu and in the end they earned a much needed three points.
The three points was especially important as it keeps Gifu in 12th place after Ehime also had a win and Kumamoto drew.
Next game October 12th (Toyama) vs Zweigen Kanazawa (Emperor's Cup)
Next J2 game October 19th (home) vs Montedio Yamagata
Sunday, September 28, 2008
FC Gifu 1 - 1 Avispa Fukuoka (ht 1-1)
FC Gifu finally found a bit of form and showed shades of the form which saw them regularly terrorize teams in the earlier stages of the competition.
Gifu though should not be content with just a draw here. The game was theirs after FW Aikawa knocked in a nice ball after 26 minutes. But a bogus referee penalty virtually handed a point back to Fukuoka in the 43rd minute when Hafner-Mike headed in.
In the second half both teams played on a similar level but with time slowly slipping away the referee continued to make bogus decisions against Gifu that resulted in minimal attacking chances for Gifu and thus a lack of any more goals.
For Gifu their defense was the tightest it's been in a while, while attack showed potential with Aikawa and Kojima the starting Forwards. Still though, this was three points that got away from Gifu... but I guess it's nice to even be able to say that after the last month especially!
Next game October 5th (away) vs Mito Hollyhock
These guys are on form, Gifu better watch out!
Winless Streak: 13 games
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Ventforet Kofu 4 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)
Try as they could, Gifu were once again outmuscled by a ressurgent Kofu and once again were left on the recieving end of a big scoreline.
There worst fears were realised when Kumamoto beat Yokohama leaving Roasso just one point behing Gifu in the table.
Next game September 27th (home) vs Avispa Fukuoka
Winless Streak: 12 games
Losing Streak: 5 games
Time for a win boys!
Vegalta Sendai 1 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)
One point loss that is. FC Gifu played much better in this game and although they had Sendai on the back foot for alot of the game it was a fourth minute goal by Vegalta Captain Ryan Yon Gi that seperated the two teams at the end.
Next game September 23rd (away) vs Ventforet Kofu
Winless Streak: 11 games
Losing Streak: 5 games
Monday, September 15, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 6 Cereso Osaka (ht 0-2)
For ten minutes Gifu played the best football I've seen them play in a couple of months. Unfortunately after two defensive lapses they were down 2-0 after just fifteen minutes.
They held on for the rest of the half and the fans were still quietly confident that Gifu could fight their way back.How wrong we all were.Osaka hit two more goals in regular time and to rub salt into the wound then pounded in two more in injury time.
It really is crisis time for Gifu now. The defense is in a shambles, the midfield lack the confidence to pass the ball forward, the forwards when they get the ball can't make the most of the opportunities that they get. To top things off Manager Matsunaga seems to be making some poor player selection and substitution choices.
The last time Gifu played Osaka they lost 5-0, but unlike that game when the ref handed the win to Osaka, this time it was all Gifu's fault. Osaka, didn't play anything special. They just scored when the chances came and played with confidence. Sendai and Kofu, who Gifu play next won't be shaking in their boots thats for sure. Might as well make it a competition, who can score the most against Gifu?
Winless Streak: 10 games
Losing Streak: 4 games
Next slaughter September 20th (away) vs Vegalta Sendai
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sanfreece Hiroshima 7 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 2-0)
Hiroshima gave Gifu a sacrificial slaughtering in Hiroshima last night, one that has left Gifu winless in their last nine games, and one that has finally seen Gifu drop down to twelth on the table below Mito.
The fact that Gifu rested their best forward Katagiri, arguably best defender Fukatsu, and their keeper Hino for this game showed that they probably went into the game thinking that a loss was inevitable.
But a 7-1 hiding was probably not in their predictions....
Like the last game in Hiroshima between the two Gifu started pretty strongly and defended stoutly only to see all their hard work undone by an own-goal to DF Komine in the 31st minute. Then just when it looked like they would hold on to a one goal deficit going into the second half, Hiroshima MF Morisaki scored a beautiful goal to with one minute to go beforte half time. This was effectively the killer blow for Gifu.
In the second half any slight splinters of hope were dashed when Hiroshima MF Takahagi scored after the first minute after a lucky deflection. This was followed by yet another own goal by Gifu DF Kikuchi Kan and a goal to Hiroshima MF Ri.
Gifu had a brief moment of glory when FW "Gacha" Katayama headed in a nice goal from a Kojima cross kick, but immediately they were put under the hammer again conceding two further goals to MF Takahagi and MF Aoyama.
It's funny, Gifu played alot more positive than in their 4-0 loss to Hiroshima in round 26, and in general their play was better, but the luck was definitely not on their side with two own goals and a cruel deflection... still, they were never going to win anyway!
In the end the best team in the league were playing the worst team in the league (in terms of recent performances) and I guess the result was a fare indication of how good Hiroshima are and how far Gifu have fallen....
Next Game September 15th (home) vs Cerezo Osaka
Should be a good crowd but Gifu are really going to have to pull something out of the bag if they want to end this run of poor form...
Saturday, August 30, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 1 Ehime FC (ht 0-0)
Out-classed again, Gifu slumped to yet another loss at home and are now eight games without a win.
Play once again just didn't look positive in general and although the game could have easily ended in a draw it was Ehime who looked the more dangerous team especially through their counter attacks.
The first half once again belonged to the opposing team with Gifu not playing well at all, and although they picked up the pace in the second half the goal to Ehime's MF Syuichi Akai in the 74th minute was ultimately too much for Gifu to peg back.
Is there an end in sight for their misery??
Seemingly not, as their next four games are against Hiroshima, Osaka, Sendai and Kofu...
Next game September 7th (away) vs Sanfreece Hiroshima
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thespa Kusatsu 3 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 3-0)
Once again a lacklustre display by Gifu saw them crash to a heavy defeat in Gunma today. Goals to Shimada (25th), Kumabayashi (28th) and Goto (37th) effectively ended the game before half time.
In a wet slippery stadium Gifu's defense was torn apart by the attacking proess of Kusatsu in the first half. Kustsu were going forward whereas Gifu just looked awful.
In the second half a lax Kusatsu took their foot off the pedal and allowed Gifu alot more control. With the injection of Otomo again with half an hour to go the attack started to look dangerous and Gifu were rewarded with a goal to Katagiri. But that's all there was. Gifu looked very average today.
Next game August 30th (home) vs Ehime FC
Monday, August 18, 2008
FC Gifu 1 - 1 Tokushima Vortis (ht 0-1)
Another home game, another two points down the drain. Gifu once again failed to impress the crowd of 3500 spectators and now remain winless in their last six games.
After only watching the highlights of this game, and hearing other fans comments it seems that Tokushima played the better of the two teams and were unlucky not to win.
Tokushima got the scoring underway with a goal to FW Souza in the 42nd minute but Gifu struck back in the 80th minute through MF Otomo.
So the last third of the comp starts the same way as the 2nd third ended. Another draw.
Joy. Rapture. Excitement.
Join us next week as Gifu takes on another draw-hunter Kusatsu. Can Gifu break their drought?
Next game August 24th (home) vs Kusatsu Thespa
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
R30 J2 Table (FC Gifu Result)
65 Sanfreece Hiroshima (1-1) (0-4)
50 Montedio Yamagata (5-3) (2-1)
46 Sagan Tosu (0-1) (0-0)
45 Shonan Bellmare (2-4) (0-0)
45 Vegalta Sendai (0-1) (1-1)
42 Cereso Osaka (0-1) (0-5)
42 Thespa Kusatsu (0-1) (1-1)
39 Avispa Fukuoka (5-1) (0-1)
36 Ventforet Kofu (1-1) (0-0)
34 Yokohama FC (2-3) (1-0)
33 FC Gifu
32 Mito Hollyhock (3-1) (0-1)
27 Ehime FC (0-3) (0-0)
25 Roasso Kumamoto (2-0) (0-0)
15 Tokushima Vortis (2-1) (1-0)
Results show that Gifu have not been good enough to beat most teams at the top of the table and have also stumbled against teams that are or were below them. This has led to a slip from 8th in the competition in Round 15, to 11th in the competition in Round 30.
Results Round 1-30:
Results - Overall
Won 8 Draw 9 Loss 11 (R1-15 W5 D2 L7) (R16-30 W3 D7 L4)
Results - Home
Won 2 Draw 4 Loss 8 (R1-15 W1 D1 L5) (R16-30 W1 D3 L3)
Results - Away
Won 6 Draw 5 Loss 3 (R1-15 W4 D1 L2) (R16-30 W2 D4 L1)
Overall results show that although Gifu haven't won as much in the second-third of the season, they haven't lost as many games either. This could be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. More draws means that they either drew more games that they could have lost or oppositely drew more games that they could have won.
Away form has again been the saviour for Gifu. With six wins away the are second only to Hiroshima in away form. On the other side of the coin is the fact that there home form is still terrible. 2 wins and 15th (last) in the league...
Overall Gifu can show a bit of pride that they haven't had as many teams beat them in the second part of the competition. However most teams don't settle for draws and in this aspect Gifu will be disappointed. The loss of an extra two points from these draws in winnable games are a telling sign as to why Gifu has slipped down on the table.
Goals - For 30 goals (=12th)
Goals - Against 37 goals (8th)
In the first third of the J2 Gifu played an attacking style of football and were ranked 2nd in goal scoring ability. On the other hand they were ranked 11th in goals against. In the second third of the J2 though, Manager Matsunaga changed the team formation to a defensive one relying on mainly counter-attack to provide goals, in order to stop the flow of goals they were conceding. While Gifu's defense in the second third is amongst the best, their attack in turn, has become one of the worst.
What kind of formation Matsunaga is going to resort to in the last third of the j2 is still a mystery. Gifu have showed that they have the ability to have some of the best attack and defense in the competition, but the question is whether they can find the balance between the two.
1. Atsushi Katagiri
Finally started to show his potential in the second third of the competition. Is up there with the best in goal assists and has managed a few goals for himself too. His free kick winner against Yamagata was a pearler. He is THE key forward for Gifu.
2. Kota Fukatsu
One of the key reasons Gifu's defense has been so strong lately. Aggresive tackler.
3. Takashi Umeda
Goals have been hard to come by lately for Umeda, but his general play is superb and he is glue that holds this team together. Top contender for Gifu player of the year.
1. FC Gifu 2 - 1 Yamagata Montedio
Gifu finally showed that they could score off a set play and that they could win at home (on the odd occasion). Yamagata came back to tie the game up at 1-1 but then Katagiri magically guided the ball over wall from a free kick to seal the winner with only a minute remaining on the clock.
2. Vegalta Sendai 1 - 1 FC Gifu
The first time Gifu play in the best J2 stadium in front of 13000 odd screaming Vegalta fans. Game could of gone either way. Also saw the return of Otomo to his old stamping ground and a great performance by him to boot.
3. Yokohama FC 0 - 1 FC Gifu
As a game from a spectators point of view, this wasn't the best. But Gifu showed plenty of gritty determination to pull out a one goal victory and get revenge for the demoralising come-from-behind defeat to Yokohama FC at Nagara Stadium in the early rounds.
Atsushi Katagiri's goal vs Vegalta Sendai in round 28. Great right-field dribble from Takashi Umeda and a nicely weighted pass from Hiromi Kojima to Katagiri to net the goal. All after just five minutes of play at Yuatech Stadium, Sendai.
49842 (14 games)
Average Attendace: 3560 (J2 - 14th)
As expected Gifu's poor home form has ultimately led to a dip in the number of people attending the games. Another factor is the fact that they didn't play any of the crowd-pulling pleasers like Hiroshima or Yokohama at home this round either.
One other point is that while most of the other teams have a rival team to play which boosts attendance numbers, such as Ehime vs Tokushima, Gifu does not have that rival team in the J2. The pre-season game vs Nagoya Grampus is a great example of this kind of rivalry boosting numbers, as over 10,000 turned up to Nagaragawa to watch that game.
Still though, the faithful always show up at Nagaragawa. Again though, more losses at home, especially to the likes of Tokushima, will unfortunately almost definitely see crowds numbers drop again...
The results have been average for Gifu this third of the competition. There were no big wins for Gifu this time but instead two big losses against Hiroshima and Osaka respectively. Defense, although improving dramatically, has not been able to save Gifu when the goals aren't coming at the other end of the field. There have been good games but there is a growing dissatisfaction among the fans in the way that Gifu are playing the game. There was a stark contrast in the attacking brand of football being played in the first 15 rounds compared with the defensive play shown in the second 15 rounds. For fans this is quite a hard transition to watch, but if the results begin to come through then the fans should warm up to the change.
What will the last 15 rounds bring? A good performance could see Gifu finish mid-table or even slightly above. A continue in their current form could see them fall again though and finishing 15th out of 15 is still a possibility.
How will the 2008 FC Gifu team finish? The last 15 rounds will define the season for Gifu. If they fade, the season will become a disappointing first year. Start winning again though, the season will be a very satisfying one.
Go the Greens! Do it for Gifu!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sagan Tosu 0 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)
FC Gifu finished two-thirds of the competition with nil-all draw away to Sagan Tosu. With both teams being some of the most defensive in the competition there were never going to be many goals shared although both teams did come close.
FC Gifu did wake up from their lacklustre performance against Mito last week and in the first half had the best of the attacking chances. In the second half though Tosu attacked wave-after-wave and only solid defense kept the scoreboard from changing. With a few minutes left remaining Gifu had a few close opportunities, but as in almost all their games this year, bar the game vs Yamagata, they weren't able to find the net to score a dramatic victory.
Next week is a very big game for Gifu. Tokushima, although being at the bottom of the table, have looked good in parts in their last few games and against Gifu away will fancy their chances for an upset there. If Gifu do lose this game a drop to 12th or 13th in the table is almost inevitable as teams like Mito are playing alot better at the moment.
Next game August 17th (home) vs Tokushima Vortis
Friday, August 1, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 1 Mito Hollyhock (ht 0-0)
Why FC Gifu are a completely different team when playing at home is a mystery. In a consistant Jekyll and Hyde like way, Gifu, usually after performing reasonably away, save their worst games for the poor fans who trudge to Nagaragawa Stadium every other week. And for the almost 3000 odd fans who turned up last night, it was no different, as they watched Gifu crumble to be defeated by a spirited Mito Hollyhock, in perhaps Gifu's worst performance of the year thus far.
Taking no credit from Mito, they dominated in every aspect of play. Defence - rock solid, Interplay and passing between players - awesome, they just did the basics right and had obviously done their homework on Gifu too. The first half in particular, they didn't even give Gifu a chance, and were perhaps unlucky to finish the half without a point to their tally. This changed though in the second half when superstar FW Tomoyuki Arata headed in a beautiful ball in the 63rd minute. From then all they had to do was defend...
At this point though Gifu finally woke up and started to attack the opposition goal. One or two close chances were missed, one chance was very close. The game could have easily been tied up, but this would have been undeserved for Gifu. This was Mito's game. In the last moments Mito beautifully wound down the clock and starved Gifu of possession and any chance for a comeback. GK Koji Homma was lucky not to gain a yellow card for his actions in slowing the play down in the last 10 minutes or so, but in the end of the day I'm sure he would have gladly sacrificed a yellow for the team and three points.
The fulltime whistle blew and FC Gifu were greeted with booing for the first time this year. The combination of a very flat, unspirited performance, being beaten by a team under Gifu in the table, plus their horrible run of performances at home, was all a bit too much for some of the fans. Other fans just stood silently....
...the Mito fans and players on the other hand were understandably happy. Congratulations to them on a well deserved win.
The next game for Gifu is against Sagan Tosu away. While their may not be too much pressure on Gifu for that game, their next home game vs Tokushima Vortis will be a different story. If Gifu are unable to win that game I fear what might happen.
Tough times for Gifu. Welcome to the J2!
Next game August 10th (away) vs Sagan Tosu
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Vegalta Sendai 1 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 0-1)
FC Gifu scored their fastest goal in the J2 after just five minutes but couldn't hold on, eventually being pegged back by a stubborn Sendai to return home with just a solitary point for their efforts.
It was a great goal by FW Atsushi Katagiri after a nice break by MF Takashi Umeda up the right of the field, who passed to Katagiri, who in turn passed to FW Hiromi Kojima who then slotted a nice pass past four defenders and onto the boot of a flying Katagiri.
From then though it was Sendai who attacked wave after wave until eventually in the 63rd minute when Sendai FW Tomoyuki Hirase scored the goal for an exciting finish.
FC Gifu brought in FW Otomo for a bit more movement in the forwards and immediately he made an impact as Gifu finally awoke from their slumber to produce some good chances but alas it was to no avail and the game ended in a draw.
A reasonably good performance by Gifu, away, in a cool Sendai. Another draw to add to the tally, but the players won't be happy that they let three points escape their grasp. This fridays game against Mito will be a big game for the club. Although Mito lost to Fukuoka last night, they did come from two goals down to tie the game up before losing. Their form of late has also been pretty impressive. This will be a stern test for Gifu, as well as Mito, and it will be a good gauge to see how both teams have developed this year. Looking forward to it!
Next game August 1st (home) vs Mito Hollyhock
Monday, July 21, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 0 Shonan Bellmare (ht 0-0)
Another nil-all halftime, another nil-all draw. Half-time nil-all scores seem to be becoming a bit of a regular occurance lately, these games are ultimately decided in the second half.
Gifu and Shonan both battled hard, both created chances but both went home probably feeling not too happy about the result. For Shonan the loss of Aziel was huge as he definitely adds alot of spark to their attack. In saying that Shonan probably attacked better, particularly in the first half, whereas Gifu made sure that their defense wasn't opened up again like last week against Hiroshima. Nil-all, the game could have gone either way but in the end a draw was a fair result.
This result though saw Gifu drop down another place on the table, and now face a daunting trip up to Sendai next week for their first visit to one of the best footy stadiums in Japan, Yurtec Stadium.
Next game July 26th (away) vs Vegalta Sendai
Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
FC Gifu 2 - 1 Montedio Yamagata (ht 0-0)
Well, it only took 10 home games, but Gifu finally got another home win under their belts when they defeated second placed Yamagata in a thriller at Nagara last night.
The home team played pretty well tonight. In the first half they played with a great amount of possession but were unable to connect for the killer blow. Yamagata on the other hand, whilst being starved off the ball had a few good chances particularly during the end of the first half. The half ended though with a hint of a momentum change in favour of Yamagata.
So both teams again came out fighting in the second half but it was Gifu who struck first in the 75th minute when FW Atsushi Katagiri headed in a pearler after some great tenocity from FW Takagi Kazumasa. But just when the 3000 odd Gifu fans were beginning to think of that long awaited second home victory Yamagata struck back almost immediately in the 78th minute when MF Masaru Akiba back-headed the ball into the goal following a free kick almost on halfway.
Both teams traded blows but in the 87th Gifu were awarded a free kick about a metre in front of the box slighty to the left. Katagiri stepped up and beautifully knocked the ball over the wall and into the back of the net while the keeper stood watching. This turned out to be the killer blow.
This was a very good game for Gifu, not just because they won, but because they played positively and scored their first goal from a free kick. The crowd, myself included, finally got to go home to a good night of sleep with smiles on their faces.
Round 25 is a bye for Gifu.
Next game July 12th (away) vs Sanfreece Hiroshima.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 0 Roasso Kumamoto (ht 0-0)
For the second successive week Gifu could only manage a nil-all draw but this week the performance on the field was far from pretty. Roasso came to Gifu with determination to win the game but it seems that Gifu are still being bogged down by the pressure of playing at home, even if it was only in front of a pultry 2000 odd spectators.
Last week Gifu were unlucky not to win but this week it was the opposite. Their passes were intercepted left, right, and centre and although they almost pulled off a last minute winner they didn`t offer much for the opposition GK all night.
The one positive point was again their defense and the performance of GK Suguru Hino.
In other results Mito and Tokushima gained impressive wins to be within reach of Gifu on the table whereas Kusatsu won their third game in a row (the first time ever) to jump even further ahead.
This sunday Gifu play Yokohama away. Both teams are struggling at the moment so it should be an interesting match. A Gifu loss would see them most likely slip down to 13th or so on the table....
Next game June 14th (away) vs Yokohama FC
Sunday, June 8, 2008
On Sunday out-of-form Gifu took on Ehime in Matsuyama. It was a pretty good game by both teams, evenly contested, and in the end neither team could take advantage of some close opportunities and finished with a solitary point each.
For Gifu, the team played pretty well, had opportunites, but couldn't convert. On the other hand, in defense they played well and kept Ehime's attack at bay and as a result managed to hold a clean-sheet for only the second time this season.
This wednesdays game against Roasso Kumamoto at home is turning out to be a must-win game for Gifu now. The three main reasons for this are:
1. RIVALRY! Kumamoto are enemy number one for Gifu!
2. Gifu have only won once at home this season and that was in Round 4!
3. Teams like Thespa Kusatsu, Avispa Fukuoka and Mito Hollyhock are on form and have either overtaken Gifu in the table or are about to!
Next game June 11th (home) vs Roasso Kumamoto
Monday, June 2, 2008
FC Gifu 1 - 1 Ventforet Kofu (ht 0-0)
FC Gifu finally stopped their run of losses and goal drought but could still only manage a 1-all draw against Kofu.
Super goal saving by Suguru Hino kept Gifu in the game throughout as Kofu poured in wave after wave of attack.
Gifu struck first though in the 56th minute when DF Kan Kikuchi made Kofu pay for some sloppy defensive work in the goal area but Kofu then struck back in the 72nd minute when FW Toshiaki Haji headed in a goal to set up a tense finish.
In the end Kofu had 13 shots to Gifu's four and were visiably upset to not get three points from this game. Their supporters even made them sit around on the field after the game as they voiced their opinions on the days happenings.... no wonder Gifu DF Shinya Nasu wanted to change teams at the end of last season!
Next game June 8th (away) vs Ehime FC
Sunday, May 25, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 5 Cerezo Osaka (ht 0-1)
Looking at this score you'd think that Gifu were totally outplayed. It's not that Gifu played bad, it's not that Osaka played exceedingly good, but the sad fact is that the referee for this game came wearing pink and purple shaded spectacles. Two PKs, one red card, one disallowed goal, numerous foul appeals turned down and a lack of consistancy in calling had Gifu on the backfoot and never gave them a chance.
It's a shame because both teams came out playing good attacking football. In the 31st minute though the referee decided to take control of the game by awarding Cerezo a dubious PK which was slotted by Germano. The half ended at 0-1 with both teams still looking like they could pull off a win. But as Cerezo picked up a gear so did the referee and with this the momentum lead to Gifu conceding goals to Careca, Tatsuya Furuhashi (2), and another PK to Germano.
Full credit to Cerezo, they played a good game and got the three points. As for Gifu, well, someday the luck may be with you. These games happen. It's a pity when a referee decides the outcome of a game but their's not much that can be done now is there??
Next game May 31st (home) vs Venteforet Kofu
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Round 15 J2 Table (FC Gifu Result)
32 Sanfreece Hiroshima (1-1)
28 Cereso Osaka (0-1)
26 Vegalta Sendai (0-1)
25 Shonan Bellmare (2-4)
24 Sagan Tosu (0-1)
23 Yokohama FC (2-3)
22 Montedio Yamagata (5-3)
17 FC Gifu
17 Ventforet Kofu (1-1)
17 Thespa Kusatsu (0-1)
14 Tokushima Vortis (2-1)
12 Ehime FC (0-3)
12 Roasso Kumamoto (2-0)
12 Avispa Fukuoka (5-1)
10 Mito Hollyhock (3-1)
Results indicate that FC Gifu has beaten most of the teams lower then them in the table whereas they have generally lost to teams higher in the table. This is probably a good indication of where FC Gifu are at the moment, good enough to beat most of the "lower" teams but as yet not good enough to beat the "stronger" teams.
Results Round 1 to 15:
Results - Overall
Won 5 Draw 2 Loss 7
Results - Home
Won 1 Draw 1 Loss 5
Results - Away
Won 4 Draw 1 Loss 2
A look at the overall results shows that Gifu have played well an have some rather impressive results considering it's their first season in the J2. The main concern though is the wins at home. Just one solitary win from seven games. Not only is this a concern for the team but by failing to win at home the attendance figures also declines. Also, while they have probably played better than their oppostion in the games that they've won there have been several games which they should have at least won or drawn, but instead lost (eg Kusatsu, Yokohama etc).
All in all you'd have to say a pass but honestly the team will be disappointed not to have gained more points then they have now.
Goals - For 23 Goals (J2 - =2nd)
Goals - Againgst 22 Goals (J2 - 11th)
This says it all. Some of the best attacking play in the league, followed by some of the worst defense in the league. The goals against is perhaps expected but the goals for is probably a shock for most people. In that aspect it's a definite thumbs up. But will it continue??
1. Takashi Umeda
Great general all-round skill. Dribble and pass, aggressiveness and four goals.
Took over as captain in place of the injured Komine.
2. Masato Katayama
First season in the J2 and already six goals. Knows how to sniff a chance
3. Takayuki Komine
Captain Courageous. Has a big body and defies gravity with his defensive dashes and body checks.
1. Ventforet Kofu 1 - 1 FC Gifu
The long awaited J2 debut. Gifu travelled to Yamanashi to face freshly relegated Kofu and came out with a brave draw thanks to MF Hiromi Kojima.
2. Montedio Yamagata 3 - 5 FC Gifu
Away to Yamagata Gifu pulled off shock number one of the season when they scored five goals and took their first win of the season in just the third round.
3. Avispa Fukuoka 1 - 5 FC Gifu
FC Gifu came from behind to dismantle Fukuoka 5-1 in what has to be the shock result of the season so far.
Masato Katayama's volley-shoot against Tokushima Vortis
29697 (7 games)
Average Attendance: 4242 (J2 - 11th)
Considering the amount of sunday games and the timing of some of the games, the attendance figures are not too bad. The worrying thing is though that if Gifu continue this poor run at home it's hard to see the figures rising much.
FC Gifu 0 - 1 Kusatsu Thespa (ht 0-0)
In the battle of the hot springs it was Kusatsu who came out with the three points thanks to the head of FW Yasunori Takada in the 75th minute. FC Gifu had the opportunity early in the second half to post first points when FW Atsushi Katagiri was fouled in the box, but the ensuing PK from Masato Katayama was easily gathered by GK Seiji Honda and Gifu had missed a golden chance.
The game was fairly even although Kusatsu controlled the ball well in the midfield therefore restricting Gifu's play to near their own goal for large portions of the game. The game had ill-tempered moments from both teams but it was Kusatsu who came through to remain unbeaten against Gifu. (The last game between the two teams was in the Emperor's Cup last year when Kusatsu won 3-0).
Gifu now have a BYE on wednesday. Next game is May 24th (home) vs Cerezo Osaka
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 3 Ehime FC (ht 0-3)
Fortunately I wasn't here to watch the humiliation as a stagnant FC Gifu were disposed of by the Orange Army from Shikoku.
Ehime scored goals in the 7th minute (MF Shuichi Akai), 23rd minute (MF Yuji Miyahara) and the 25th minute (MF Kenichi Ego) to effectively seal the match an hour before full-time. FC Gifu came out in the second half and started to play positively but it was far too late by then. Gifu had 12 shots at goal, Ehime 9. Welcome to the J2 Gifu, your first official pummeling....
Monday, April 28, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
FC Gifu 2 - 3 Yokohama FC (ht 1-1)
FC Gifu were given a lesson in playing for the full 90 minutes as Yokohama FC Forward Anderson converted a counter-attack movement that gave his team an injury time win in a thriller at Nagara Stadium.
Traditional slow-starters FC Gifu played with the wind in the first half and after 20 minutes had a goal to FW Masato Katayama to show for their efforts. There was nothing pretty about the goal, just a bit of magic, as surrounded by two Yokohama defenders and the keeper, Katayama managed to squeeze the ball through from a metre out.
Gifu looked to be heading into the half with a one point lead but an unlucky moment resulted in Kazunori Kan knocking in an own-goal leaving the skills level at the half. Although Gifu had controlled the first 20 minutes Yokohama were looking strong after a slow start and one goal each was probably a fair indication of the first half.
In the second half Gifu once again started stronger and were rewarded with a second goal to DF Koji Yoshimura after 60minutes. The tide slowly began to turn though and Gifu's usually strong defense began to crack down the middle of the field. Yokohama struck back in the 81st minute when DF Kosuke Yatsuda scrambled in a goal from a corner kick. Yokohama continued to exploit the tired Gifu defense and in injury time broke Gifu fan's hearts when FW Anderson kicked in a nice goal from 20 metres out.
FC Gifu could have won this one, and definitely were not out-played by Yokohama FC. But in the end, their defense began to leak like a 100 yen shop tent, and Yokohama used all their experience to exploit it. Hats off to Yokohama FC, they played the full 90 minutes and got the result they deserved. FC Gifu will have to rest well this week, as one can only feel that the players are starting to feel the effects of the long season and the high level of play in the J2.
Next game April 26th vs Shonan Bellmare at Hiratsuka.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Unbelievable! In the space of five minutes FC Gifu who were trailing Fukuoka 0-1 put on four goals to race out to a 4-1 lead that ultimately led to their third win of the season. The game was played under sunny skies in front of 7ooo spectators at Level5 Stadium, Fukuoka.
Fukuoka scored first in the 18th minute when some clever interplay between the forwardswas finished off by MF Hokuto Nakamura who slotted the ball nicely past the keeper. FC Gifu were playing more positively with the ball that they had but Fukuoka looked the more dangerous team near the goal. The half ended at 1-0.
In the second half though things changed dramatically as Gifu FW Atsushi Katagiri bagged a double in the 56th and 57th minute to give the lead to the visitors. As if they were not content with this, FW Kazumasa Takagi also snuck in a goal in the 59th, followed by a goal to Takashi Umeda in the 61st. Amazingly Gifu had turned a one point deficit into a three point lead within five minutes. These goals were produced by good attacking play by Gifu, but at the same time they were also helped by defensive misses by Fukuoka. With 30 minutes remaining both teams created chances but it was Gifu again who added another point to their tally with a well taken goal by Takashi Umeda, who also bagged a double. The game ended with FC Gifu 5-1 winners.
For Gifu the confidence received in beating Fukuoka away by four goals will be enormous. They played well defensively and scored their five goals from just ten shots at goal. On the one negative note, they allowed in a goal again, meaning that they have yet to keep a clean sheet come full-time this season.
For Fukuoka, well what can we say? They lost last week away 1-3 to Tokushima and then at home 1-5 today to Gifu. Obviously they're going through a bad patch and will have lost confidence particularly in the last two games. Defense is their main problem at the moment and they will be looking to fix that ASAP.
A great day for Gifu. Katagiri got his first goals of the 2008 season, FC Gifu their third win of the 2008 season. Looking good boys. Otsukaresamadeshita!
Next game April 19th vs Yokohama FC
Sunday, April 6, 2008
FC Gifu provided a great second half comeback against J2 pace-setters Sanfreece Hiroshima in front of 5400 people at Nagara Stadium, Gifu, today.
Gifu tried to produce positive attacking play in the first half but were easily dominated by Hiroshima who showed the kind of patience that had gotten them through their first four matches unbeaten this season. In the 22nd minute their patience paid off when Tomoaki Makino chipped in from a corner to open the account for Hiroshima. For the rest of the second half Gifu kept defending bravely and the half ended with Makino's goal being the difference between the two teams.
Stern words must have been said in the half time talk for Gifu though as they came out on fire in the second half. In the 60th minute MF Kazunori Kan put Gifu level with Hiroshima when he kicked a great ball diagonally across the keeper and in between the posts. The rest of the half belonged to Gifu, but as ruthless as their attack was they were unable to pip in the winning goal and the game ended a 1-all stalemate.
Had Hiroshima (11 shots at goal) been able to convert more of their first half pressure they could have come home with three points, but in the end, Gifu (9 shots) looked the most likely to score the winner.
Next game April 12th vs Avispa Fukuoka
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I will be watching the result with sandy eyes....
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Montedio Yamagata 3 - 5 FC Gifu (ht 2-3)
Who would have guessed it? FC Gifu piled on five goals to record their first ever win in the J2 in Yamagata today! Takagi and Katayama added to goals each with Kan adding the cherry on the cake in the 38th minute to seal the win. In the first half it was Takagi who got the goal rush started, with a lucky deflection of Yamagata legs in the 11th minute. But Yamagata hit straight back in the 15th minute through Toyota and the 18th minute through Watanabe. In the 26th minute Katayama headed in a goal and then just before full time in the 44th minute struck in a goal for a vital 3-2 lead at half time. Gifu then came out of the sheds fastest in the second half as Takagi knocked in his second of the day. Kan popped in a final goal for Gifu in the 38th minute to seal the game. Yamagata then popped in a consolation goal in the 44th minute as Leonardo headed in from a corner kick.
The amazing thing for Gifu is that they scored their five goals of just 11 scoring chances. Yamagata on the other hand did pretty well themselves by scoring their three goals of just eight shots at goal.
Congratulations to the boys from middle earth, Japan!
Next game vs Tokushima Vortis at home this sunday.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
FC Gifu 0 - 1 Vegalta Sendai (ht 0-1)