Monday, April 28, 2008

R10 Relief

Mito Hollyhock 1 - 3 FC Gifu (ht 1-1)
Once again they took a 2-1 lead in the second but this time FC Gifu managed to hold on for 3-1 win under sunny skies in Mito.
It was a game in which both teams never really got out of second gear. I guess after both playing in goal-fests on saturday there was bound to be a bit of tiredness in both camps.
FC Gifu got the game going in the 26th minute when local legend Yasuyuki Moriyama collected a beautiful pass from Katagiri Atsushi. In the 40th minute though, Mito struck back when FW Tomoyuki Arata danced around his defender to level the scores 1-1 at half-time.
In the second half the game was there for the taking for boths teams but neither team really looked like scoring until in the 76th minute when Masato Katayama found himself unmarked to head in the goal for a 2-1 lead. From then it was all defense for Gifu as they withheld the Mito attack but in the 89th minute Katayama was again on hand to knock in yet another goal after a counter-attacking out-break from Atsushi Katagiri for the 3-1 win.
Had Mito woken from their slumber and played like they did against Sendai there is the feeling that they could have well won, or at least drawn this game but it was Gifu in the end that proved to be on the ball a bit more and therefore they came away with the three points.
Next game May 3rd vs Ehime FC (home)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

R9 Outplayed

Shonan Bellmare 4 - 2 FC Gifu (ht 1-2)
For the second time in two weeks FC Gifu gave up a 2-1 lead in the second half and managed to lose. In contrast to last weeks game though, this week, Gifu did not play well.
Conditions were apalling and the short grass at Hiretsuka made for a slippery surface. Shonan, from the outset came out with all guns blazing and managed to keep their feet steady on the wet pitch.
In just the 3rd minute Shonan FW Naoki Ishihara headed a nice ball past keeper Suguru Hino to give Shonan their first goal of the day. Shonan were creating good chances but were shocked in the 38th and 40th minutes when they conceded two own goals. These own goals were not from Shonan errors though, the first was created by a header of Gifu DF Shinya Kawashima and the second through the boot of FW Masato Katayama. So the momentum that Shonan had created had turned into a 1-2 scoreline that flattered FC Gifu as they entered half-time.
In the second half FC Gifu came out firing for the first ten minutes but couldn't convert and it was Shonan instead who created the equaliser, albeit a lucky one, through FW Ryuta Hara in the 57th minute. The injection of FW Lincoln for Shonan was a great move for the home team as he played with the defence and in the 36th minute, his cool play led to a goal for MF Adiel. The heads for FC Gifu started to dip and in the 44th minute Takayuki Komine was red-carded for a debatable defensive tackle leaving Shonan MF Nozomu Kato to beatifully curl in the free kick for a 4-2 lead and the win.
For Shonan a well deserved win. They handled the conditions better, had 22 shots at goal, and looked the best team.
For Gifu, the team tried hard but their are some serious problems in the defensive line, now seven goals have been conceded in the last two games alone. They did great to come back from an early blow and produce two goals, but they couldn't provide the defensive effort to save the game. With only four shots at goal they once again showed their ability to convert from limited chances but they have a lot of hard work to do for their next game on tuesday against Mito, who will definitely provide a stern challenge for the boys in green.
Next game April 29th vs Mito Hollyhock (away)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

FC Gifu vs Yokohama FC Review

Click here to read Jsgoal review on the Yokohama FC match in English.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

R8 Leaking Tent

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

Game highlights

Highlights of the 5-1 thrashing of Avispa can again be found on the official FC Gifu website or by clicking this link. Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

R7 Five Magic Minutes

Avispa Fukuoka 1 - 5 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)

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

R6 Fightback

FC Gifu 1 - 1 Sanfreece Hiroshima (ht 0-1)

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

R5 Guts in kansai

Cerezo Osaka 1 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 0-1)
FC Gifu showed plenty of guts in Osaka against Cerezo but a lapse in concentration in the 12th minute allowed Cerezo MF Noriyuki Sakamoto an easy goal which would ultimately prove to be the difference between the two teams come 90 minutes. FC Gifu made a strong showing at Nagai Stadium and were unlucky to go home with no points from a game in which they dominated.
Next game is &th March vs Sanfreece Hiroshima.
Highlights of FC Gifu games can be seen on this link and are changed weekly.