FC Gifu 0 - 1 Vegalta Sendai (ht 0-1)
On a beautiful summers day in Gifu (a disappointing) 5000 odd people turned out to watch Gifu battle J2 big-guns Sendai in an entertaining match. Both teams played positive soccer, with Vegalta looking the more settled team as perhaps nerves once again led to a slow for Gifu. The solitary point of the match came after 23 minutes when Vegalta's Ryan Yon Gi on the counter attack took a shot from ten metres out, only for it to be headed into the goal by Gifu's Masamichi Yamada whilst trying to clear the ball.
On the whole, the defence from both teams was impressive, as the end result showed. Vegalta had 14 shots at goal but amazingly no corner kicks, whereas FC Gifu had only a mere five shots at goal and one paltry corner kick. So in a way, it was very similar to last weeks game with Kofu, although this time the standard of play was alot better in general than last week. There were chances to draw the game, one shot by Katayama hit the posts, and Moriyama also came close to putting in a last minute goal. In the end the score was probably a fair reflection of the game, but Gifu were unlucky to concede the own goal, and it's debatable as to whether Vegalta would have been able to win if they hadn't been gifted that goal.
Looking onto this thursdays game away to Yamagata, I think that after Yamagata's dismantling of Cerezo Osaka on saturday, and after the long journey up north, Gifu will probably be hoping to come out of that game with pride in tact but not expecting too much. The fact of the matter is that they will be probably concentrating most of their efforts on the home game against Tokushima Vortis on sunday 23rd. But it will be very interesting to see what happens next. We are all waiting for them to follow Roasso's footsteps and get their first three points of 2008.