Sunday, May 25, 2008

R16 Gifu Raped in Nagara

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

FC Gifu - J2 season 1/3 Review

FC Gifu have bravely fought their way through one third of their debut J2 season. Below are some thoughts on their performance thus far.

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??

Best Players:

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.

Best Games:

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.

Best Goal:

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.

R14 Gifu get boiled.

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

R13 Roasso See Red

Roasso Kumamoto 0 - 2 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)
FC Gifu took the spoils in the game between the two newly promoted clubs in Kumamoto today. FC Gifu were helped largely by a red-card given to Takeshi Yamaguchi in just the 41st minute for repeated yellow-cards.
Until then though, the momentum had all been with Gifu but the relentless attack on the Kumamoto goal all came to nothing and at half-time the scores were locked at 0-0.
In the second half Gifu picked up the pace a bit and it resulted in goals to Takeshi Umeda in the 56th minute and Atsushi Katagiri in the 64th minute. They then held on for the closing of the game to come out 2-0 winners.
For Gifu this win was huge for three reasons:
1. And most important, they beat bitter rivals Roasso Kumamoto to claim bragging rights for the time being and remain unbeaten against them in the J2 and JFL.
2. They stopped their losing streak at two games.
3. They held a clean-sheet in defense for the first time this season.
Although Roasso were unlucky to have Yamaguchi red-carded, Gifu deserved the win.
The next game will be another very important one against Thespa Kusatsu and if Gifu don't watch out they could be on the receiving end of yet another home loss. It will interesting to see how they react. But for today, a job well done!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

R12 Home Blues

FC Gifu 0 - 1 Sagan Tosu (ht 0-0)
FC Gifu again slipped up at home, although at least this time they managed to provide some competition for visitors Sagan Tosu.
This game was controlled by tight defense from both teams. Tosu were playing on the front foot but could not find a way through the Gifu defense and this continued until the 81st minute when Gifu DF Kota Fukatsu fouled Tosu DF Takuma Hidaka in the penalty box. FW Yoshihito Fujita then calmly slotted the PK and gave Tosu the victory and three points to move them up to third on the table.
For Gifu it was a gut-wrenching result. They looked like they were heading for their first clean-sheet defensive scoreline in the J2 but were punished nine minutes from full-time.
Their home record now stands at an abysmal 1 win 1 draw 4 losses and they are slowly slipping down to the bottom of the table.
Next weeks away game to Roasso Kumamoto on May 10th will be the most important game of the year so far. Lose this game and Roasso will be equal on points with Gifu. Gifu will also find themselves in the position of three losses in a row for the first time this season. A win though will see them gain some much needed confidence and keep their pride intact.

R11 Attack Of The Oranges

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....