Monday, June 29, 2009

R24 vs Roasso Kumamoto

Roasso Kumamoto 5 - 2 FC Gifu (ht 2-1)

Well, Gifu finally got roasted by Kumamoto. In seven games this was their first win over Gifu. Quite an entertaining game it was, and Gifu didn't even play that bad... but still, to have 5 goals knocked in against them by 5 defensive misses was pretty average. Gifu came from behind twice, once through FW Nishikawa, and then in the second half through DF Tanaka but that wasn't enough to claim the win, or even a draw, as Kumamoto rode a wave of energy to score a record win against Gifu.
Gifu's defense hasn't looked that leaky since the early stages this season.
They'll be hoping to patch it up soon and will be trying to post their first win over Toyama this weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

R23 vs Tokushima Vortis

FC Gifu 3 - 0 Tokushima Vortis (ht 2-0)

Despite the score, Tokushima played an awesome first half and could easily have been up by three goals or so if a bit of luck had been on their side. They controlled play awesomely and even at 2-0 down at the break, a come from behind victory was still on the cards.
In the second half though they slowed down as they maybe realised that lady luck wasn't on their side tonight.
Gifu, defended well, but were lucky to be up at the break. Attacking wise they only put in 10 shots to Tokushima's 21 but still came out 3-0, so credit must be paid to their forwards.
Goals came to Kazunori, Satou and Tominari.
This gave Gifu four home victorys this year, more than the whole season last year!
Next is the trip to visit those dirty horse-eaters in Kumamoto...

R22 vs Fagiano Okayama

Fagiano Okayama 0 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)

Nice stadium, nice food but a bit of a dull game. Gifu controlled all but five minutes of the first half but just couldn't quite get the goal they wanted. In the second half Okayama woke up and put in a good fight but both teams came out with not much in this one.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

R21 vs Shonan Bellmare

FC Gifu 2 - 2 Shonan Bellmare (ht 1-1)

What a cracker of a game! 6600 odd people came out on a warm sunny Gifu day to witness a great match between league leaders Shonan and 14th placed Gifu. Without captain Kan Kazunori and DF Shuuto Tanaka this was always going to be a tough game.
When I arrived at the game I was shocked to find out that Gifu super star FW Atsushi Katagiri had just settled a deal with Ventforet Kofu for the rest of the season and this would be his last game in Gifu colors. He, along with Moriyama, were two of the most influential players to bring Gifu out of the regional leagues and into the J2. Those two players are also probably the most famous players to come from Gifu Prefecture.
So a bit more spice was added to the game, and it didn't disappoint!
Gifu hit the lead first in the 42nd minute through DF Tominari, but the lead only lasted a minute as Shonan belted in a goal one minute later to equal the score at half time.
In the second half Gifu again hit the lead in the 25th minute with a beautiful driving shoot to DF Akita. Again though, 10 minutes later Shonan struck back for the equaliser. The final few minutes were frantic but again the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
Gifu shot 14 to Shonan's 7 and were the dominant side but once again lacked the composure to hold their leads or to get the winning goal.
Gifu once again missed out on their chance to defeat Shonan for the first time but still it was a very positive result for the team. The next game will be a big one though. Away to bottom placed Okayama. On form that they should win this game, but unfortunately, like todays result, form often doesn't mean much on the day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

R20 vs Vegalta Sendai

Vegalta Sendai 2 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 2-0)

Didn't see the fifth installment in what my friends have coined the "Richy Derby". Well, only the highlights anyway. It's always hard for me to pick a side in this game but this time I think I was secretly hoping that Vegalta would get this one becasue it will help them on the way to promotion.
So in five games against each other Gifu has never beaten Sendai. Two 1-0 losses, a 1-1 draw, and two 2-0 losses. Always a close game but this game especially Sendai were always going to be hard to beat as they are playing some of the best football in the J2 at the moment.
Gifu apparently didn't play too bad but the extra class from Sendai got them through.
Hopefully Gifu can beat Sendai when promotion is already secured in the third installment!
But before that, for Sendai's sake, and for the sake of never having beaten Shonan, hopefully Sendai can pick up three magic points against the Beach Bums from Bellmare this weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

R19 v Mito Hollyhock

FC Gifu 1 - 1 Mito Hollyhock (ht 1-1)

Yet again this year the Mito - Gifu clash proved to be a tense one, unlike the last clash between the two teams though, this time it was Gifu who was unlucky to come out with the win.
Gifu looked more comfortable throughout the game but couldn't quite get the winning goal which would have given them their first ever three match winning streak. It was Mito who struck first when they pounced on a clear miss by Gifu after just six minutes. Gifu held their nerve though and struck back later in the half through a rare set-play heading goal to Koichi Sato.
The second half was pretty slow for the first part but towards the end Gifu started getting the ball down the Mito end and looked like they might score an historic winner. It was Mito though who almost pulled off an unlikely victory when they produced a great chance with just minutes to go... fortunately for Gifu, GK Noda stuck his hands in the right place and saved what looked like it would be a certain winner for Mito. In the last couple of minutes Gifu almost found the winner themselves but the Mito defense held out and both teams were left with only one point for their efforts.
For Gifu it was a good indicator at where they're at this season. They played pretty good in all facets of the game, but are still lacking the x-factor to get that winning goal. They're also still making simple mistakes defensively in front of the posts that lead to goals.
All credit to Mito though. After coming off a few hidings their defense held tight through most of the game. You'd have to think that if Arata had been playing this game they would have had the firepower upfront to probably come out with three points.

The goal wasn't a bad result but Gifu can't relax. Their next two games are against Sendai and Shonan. While people can still dream of victory against these two teams, a draw against each team would realsitically be a satisfying result at the moment. Still, we all like to dream!!