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!!