Nagoya Grampus 3 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)
Unfortunately for Gifu they couldn't reap the financial rewards by toppling rivals Nagoya Grampus over the weekend, but the loss brought to the end a proud season by the boys in mouldy green.
About 2000 Gifu supporters came to watch the game on a cold Nagoya afternoon, but they were soon humbled when Nagoya utterly dominated the opening 20 minutes of the game. Gifu gradually began to find their feet and the game evened up over the following 20 minutes with both teams having their chances. Gifu came close but it was Grampus who struck first when Kennedy headed into the goal just a minute before half time.
That goal was crucial for the outcome of the game. The general feeling around was that if Gifu could sneak in the first goal, then they could probably hold out for a tight victory. If it was Nagoya who struck first though, the floodgates would probably open.
And sure enough they did, with Kennedy knocking in another two to take a hat-trick out of the game.
Gifu had a few chances, and one disallowed goal, but this one was Nagoya's. They deserved this victory. There passing interplay, ball retention, and defense was superior.
So Gifu have to wait til next years Kisogawa Derby for their chance for revenge, and if nothing else, a goal would be nice!
Gifu can hold their heads high though. A Best 8 finish in the Emperor's Cup, with victorys over Tochigi SC, Matsumoto Yamaga FC and JEF Chiba, is a proud accomplishment for the club, especially considering the experience of the players and the financial problems of the club.
End of season review to come in 2010!