Tochigi SC 0 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 0-1)
A nicely placed goal by Kazumasa Takagi in the 30th odd minute was enough to silence the crowd of 5500 in Tochigi Green Stadium on sunday. Me, along with the hundred or so Gifu supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief as Gifu, used their extra years experience in the J2 to make sure Gifu kicked off 2009 with an all important three points.
Not that Gifu played much better than Tochigi. Both teams struggled with new combinations and perhaps a few nerves. There were a few close shaves for both teams but in the end Gifus defense held well and never looked in too much trouble.
All in all a good first off win, but the team won't be able to relax, as next weekend they face Kofu at home. Kofu will be fuming after yet again failing to win their opening round match, while Gifu will be looking to exercise the home demons of the 2008 season where they only won three games at home.