Sunday, October 25, 2009

R47 vs Ehime FC

FC Gifu 3 - 3 Ehime FC (ht 1-1)

I don't know what it is about the team at the moment. We were up 3-2 in extra-time, and AGAIN conceded a goal to lose 2 points...
Seems to be happening every game.
Usually if you score three points you're almost assured of a victory. But with Gifu....

Ehime knocked in the first goal early in the first half only for Gifu to hit back on the stroke of half time through a Nishikawa header from a corner kick.
In the second half Ehime again grabbed the lead but Gifu hit back 2 minutes later through a Satou PK. Then with 15 minutes remaining Gifu grabbed the lead through Hashimoto, only for Ehime to grab a goal in extra time.
For Gifu having DF Yoshimoto and Tanaka out for the game wouldn't have helped the team, but still...

Anyway, with the draw Gifu squeeked up to 11th on the table ahead of Toyama and Fukuoka by a whisker. With four games remaining and a five point gap between them and 10th placed Kusatsu, they're going to have to win at least three of the last four games to get the top 10 finish that they were aiming for at the end of the season. Lose though and they could fall as far as 14th by the end of the season.

Next week is a break for the Emperors Cup. Gifu will travel to Akita to play Matsumoto Yamaga FC who will be on a high after beating Urawa in the last round, and also winning the Shakaijin Tournament, which will put them into the regional finals and a chance at making the JFL for next year. Win and there will be a trip to Saitama-Ken to play either Oita Trinita or JEF Chiba.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

R46 vs Avispa Fukuoka

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

It keeps getting worse... Gifu dominated the first half by a mile but failed to hit the net. Fukuoka looked contempt with a draw at that stage. In the second half Avispa picked up the pace and both teams created a few chances.
It was in overtime when the drama began though. 2 minutes into the 3 minutes of overtime. Gifu's Satou was taken out by Suzuki who was red-carded. Gifu took the free-kick which just floated over the goal. That's where time should have ended but the ref kept playing. 4 minutes into overtime and Fukuoka got a goal which bounced around a few players before going into the net. On that one play DF Akita got pushed over and the ball hit a Fukuoka players arm....

But what can you do?? I can't say that Gifu deserved to win, while they dominated the first half, a goal still looked far away. But Fukuoka also didn't deserve to win... probably a 0-0 draw is a fair reflection of what this game should have been but...

Anyway, the loss puts Gifu and Fukuoka equal on the table with 55 points each, although the momentum is definitely with Fukuoka at the moment. Gifu will have to play extremely well if they are going to stay ahead of Fukuoka in the 5 games time!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

R45 vs Thespa Kusatsu

Thespa Kusatsu 1 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)

One magic moment by J2 points machine Tokura was enough to give Kusatsu their first win over Gifu this year. Both teams had their chances but both teams also played pretty average. The game was probably deserving of a nil-all draw but Kusatsu came out with the points and Gifu are left without a win after 5 J2 games.
Next Gifu have to travel to Fukuoka on wednesday. Quite a bit of travel in such a short turn around. Any chance of a top ten finish will disappear if Gifu lose this one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Emperor's Cup - Round 2

FC Gifu 1 - 0 Tochigi SC (ht 0-0)

Gifu managed to come out with a hard-fought 1-0 win over rivals Tochigi SC and set up a date with not Urawa Reds, but Matsumoto Yamaga FC, in Akita on October 31st.
I did not see the game itself, but from what I hear it wasn't the best game to watch. Gifu's game came from Koichi Satou in the 55th minute. Tochigi's Leonardo got sent off in the 61st minute, and Tochigi came pretty close to equalising in the dying stages but Gifu held on.
The crowd was about 2300, which isn't too bad for The Emperor's Cup (Tokushima had about 900 at home!), but it will be interesting to see if over 1000 will turn up for the 3rd Round in Akita.
With Matsumoto knocking out Urawa 2-0 at home, this means that Gifu will have a good chance at advancing to the 4th Round, as Matsumoto are by no means as strong as Urawa. Still, any team who can beat Urawa by 2 goals has to be shown alot of respect, and if Gifu aren't careful, they could follow a similar fate as the Reds.
Win that game, and the next game will either be Oita Trinita or JEF Chiba in Saitama. Which would both be very winnable games. Still, shouldn't get ahead of myself, it's not as if Gifu are playing on fire at the moment. Better concentrate on this weekends J2 vs Thespa Kusatsu, which will be a very tough game as Kusatsu are in pretty good form at the moment.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

R44 vs Tokyo Verdy

FC Gifu 1 - 1 Tokyo Verdy (ht 1-0)

Seems to be a familiar pattern of late, conceding a goal in the last quarter of the game, and losing or drawing (might as well be losing!) the game. The weather was a shocker and as a result of this and the fear of the killer Influenza plague thats running wil in Gifu, only 1700 managed to turn up to watch the final battle of the greens.
To put it frankly, Tokyo were unlucky not to be up by a goal or two at halftime. They played better in the conditions, but missed a couple of sitters. Gifu managed to sneak in a goal just before halftime when Yoshimoto slowly floated a header into the back of the net. Tokyo came out though and threw everything at Gifu, but Gifu held on tight, and it looked like only a matter of time before they got their second. Chances though, were again squandered, and it was Tokyo, through that man we all love to hate, Leandro, who headed in a goal after a good counter attack to send the 34 visiting Tokyo fans into wild celebration. Gifu had a great chance to seal the game in extra time but the ball after bouncing of both sides of the posts skittled safely into the Verdy keepers hands and that was it.
Another one that got away. I guess it's all a learning curve for the team, and on the plus side Gifu's financial situation will be the better for it, because they won't have to fork out a winning bonus for that game...
The next round against Kusatsu will be a BIG game. If we can win this game then it will be a big step towards a top ten finish for the year.

Next game though is The Emperors Cup vs Tochigi SC.
The winner facing a trip to Akita to face J1 giants Urawa!

Monday, October 5, 2009

R43 vs Sagan Tosu

Sagan Tosu 1 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)

It doesn't get much worse for Gifu then today.
First, we lost.
Second, we only had five more minutes to hold out.
Third, DF Akita was red-carded and will miss the big game this wednesday against Verdy.
Fourth, we lost 3 in a row for the first time this year.
Fifth, Kusatsu beat Yokohama.
Sixth, We dropped to 12th on the table.

Thanks Hafner-Mike....

Can Gifu fight back and get their first victory over Tokyo this wednesday???