Sunday, December 5, 2010

2010 Final Standings

1 Kashiwa Reysol 80
2 Ventforet Kofu 70
3 Avispa Fukuoka 69
4 JEF United Chiba 61
5 Tokyo Verdy 58
6 Yokohama FC 54
7 Roasso Kumamoto 54
8 Tokushima Vortis 51
9 Sagan Tosu 51
10 Tochigi SC 50
11 Ehime FC 48
12 Thespa Kusatsu 48
13 Consadole Sapporo 46
14 FC Gifu 45
15 Oita Trinita 41
16 Mito Hollyhock 38
17 Fagiano Okayama 32
18 Kataller Toyama 28
19 Gillavantz Kitakyushuu 15

Record: 36 games: 13 won, 6 drawn, 17 lost
Points for 32, against 45

Gifu had were sitting in the top 10 with six rounds remaining but managed to crumble against the likes of Yokohama FC and Sagan Tosu, and had they won those two games they could have come out with a top 10 finish.
Overall, another disappointing end to the season for Gifu, however with just 13 points in between 6th place and 14th place, it was a close season for most teams.

Next year will see the inclusion of Gainare Tottori as the J2 moves up to 20 teams.
While Fukuoka, Kofu and Kashiwa leave the J2 this year, Kyoto, Shonan and FC Tokyo come down to experience some grass roots football.

Should be another goody!

November and December Results

R32 FC Gifu 0-1 Yokohama FC

Yokohama came into this game in hot form. Both teams had there chances and just when it looked like the game would finish a draw, Yokohama scored.

R33 Kashiwa Reysol 3-0 FC Gifu

Gifu held Kashiwa to 0-0 at half time and defensively were playing great. Halfway through the second half Kashiwa scored but still didn't look comfortable. Then Arai got sent off and Kashiwa scored two in the last 10 minutes. The final a lucky PK on fulltime.

R34 FC Gifu 0-1 Sagan Tosu

Gifu needed to win this to have any chance of a top 10 finish. They went down a goal in under 10 minutes and then although they dominated the second half, they couldn't find that magic goal.


R36 FC Gifu 0-2 Avispa Fukuoka

Fukuoka were the hungrier team as they needed a win to secure J1 promotion. Gifu were brave but were no match.

R37 FC Gifu 4-2 Tochigi SC (Goals: Satou 2, Shimada 1, Tanaka 1)

Gifu finally got their skates back on when they scored an impressive 4-2 victory over Tochigi. If only they had played like this a few rounds ago....

R38 Venforet Kofu 0-0 FC Gifu

Both teams battled hard and attacked well, however neither team got the scoreboard moving at the end of the day. Gifu will have to wait until at least 2012 until they get a crack at breaking their duck against Kofu again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October.. and the inevitable slip??

R30 Ehime FC 0-0 FC Gifu

With both teams on form, a draw here wasn't a bad result. The game was absolutely pies though.

R31 Fagiano Okayama 2-2 FC Gifu (Goals: Oshitani, Park GD)

Gifu were down 0-2 to Okayama but managed to claw their way back to 0-1 with a great individual goal to Oshitani, followed by a last minute goal to Park Gi Dong who made a great return back to the starting lineup. Better than a loss but...

R32 FC Gifu 0-1 Yokohama FC

This was the worst. Both teams hadn't lost in 5 games, Gifu hadn't lost at home for about 7 games... both teams had their moments but when Oshitani was subbed off with still 10 minutes to go they looked flat, and Yokohama managed to squeek in a lucky goal in the 91st minute.

Gifu are still sitting in 10th but have to play 1st placed Kashiwa (away) this weekend, have a BYE, and also games against 3rd placed Fukuoka (home) and 2nd placed Kofu (away) to look forward to.

It's going to be tough for the team to remain in the top 10 at the end of the year... this will show how good this team really are.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

September and beyond!

R25 FC Gifu 1-0 Gilavantz Kitakyushu (Goal: Nogaito)

R26 Thespa Kusatsu 2-1 FC Gifu (Goal: Shimada)

R27 FC Gifu 2-0 Oita Trinita (Goal: Oshitani 2)

R28 Consadole Sapporo 0-0 FC Gifu

R29 FC Gifu 2-1 Tokushima Vortis (Goal: Shimada, Oshitani)

Gifu started off september with Nogaito scoring a late goal to finish off a spirited Kitakyushu who were unlucky to leave the game with no points. In the following away trip Gifu held a comfortable 1-0 lead going into halftime, however 2 goals in 2 minutes and a harsh sending off of DF Yoshimoto were enough to give Kusatsu a somewhat undeserving win.
Gifu returned home where they were to play Oita without key players GK Noda and DF Yoshimoto. A sublime performance by Japan U21 FW Oshitani though gave Gifu their first win over Oita.
What followed was a dull 0-0 draw with Sapporo, followed by a good attacking win over Tokushima. Gifu coming from a goal down to beat Tokushima and overtake them on the table.

Gifu are now sitting pretty at 9th in the table, amazingling just 10 points out of the top 3. The team also hasn't lost in 8 games at home.
This months games are:
Ehime (a)
Okayama (a)
Yokohama (h)

While Gifu would have to probably win all of their last eight games to have finish in the top 3 (and be denied entry into the J1 due to their debt) a more realistic goal will be to stay in the top 10 and Gifu will want to win at least two of their next three games to ensure this.

Table (As October 5)

1 Kashiwa Reysol 65 (+36)
2 Ventforet Kofu 57 (+24)
3 Avispa Fukuoka 49 (+22)

4 JEF United Chiba 48 (+22)
5 Tokyo Verdy 43 (+10)
6 Roasso Kumamoto 42 (-5)
7 Yokohama FC 40 (+7)
8 Sagan Tosu 39 (+2)
9 FC Gifu 39 (-8)
10 Tokushima Vortis 38 (+3)

11 Tochigi SC 38 (+3)
12 Ehime FC 36 (-3)
13 Mito Hollyhock 32 (-8)
14 Thespa Kusatsu 32 (-13)
15 Consadole Sapporo 31 (-7)
16 Oita Trinita 28 (-11)
17 Fagiano Okayama 24 (-21)
18 Kataller Toyama 20 (-27)
19 Gilavantz Kitakyushu 15 (-26)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

August and a bit round up!

R21 FC Gifu 1-1 Roasso Kumamoto (Goal: Shimada)

R22 Mito Hollyhock 1-2 FC Gifu (Goal: Oshitani 2)

R23 FC Gifu 1-0 JEF Chiba (Goal: Nishikawa)

R24 Tokyo Verdy 2-0 FC Gifu

So Gifu after some impressive results are now sitting in 11th, with a game against bottom placed Gilavantz Kitakyushu at home next week. Still, we don't look super strong, but challenging at least.

Emperor's Cup Round 1:
FC Gifu 2-3 Tochigi SC (Goal: Nishikawa, Yoshimoto)

After 38mins, Gifu were down by three and Tochigi were tearing Gifu apart. But the tide changed when Gifu scored not one, but two, yes TWO goals from set play. One from a corner and one from a free kick. Tochigi then had a defender red-carded and Gifu looked like scoring the goal that would take them into extra time. Someya was tripped in the final minute in the box, but the ref decided to penalise Someya instead and Tochigi won the game. Was a game of two halfs, that we should have won in the end but alas... the fairy tale of last years Emperor's Cup heroics was not to continue in 2010...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

July round up

3 rounds after the WC break and Gifu is sliding down the table.
Attack is ok, but defence has been pies.

Round 16 BYE

Round 17 Gifu 1 Ehime 1

Round 18 Toyama 3 Gifu 2

So Gifu has slipped down to 13th.

Next week is a big game against Kumamoto, but at this stage... we're not looking like top 10 contenders. Still, anyones got a chance in the J2 this year!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup Break

Gifu go into the break surprisingly in 9th place but still with their BYE to go.
They have won seven and lost ten. Still 9th place is deceiving for the team.. they should be lower, and their form of late has been very average.
Kurata's "zone defence" has seen the defenders struggling to adjust, whereas the forwards are seeing less and less ball. As a spectator the games are often boring as a result.
Still there is hope after a 5 week break!

J2 Table

42 Kashiwa Reysol (24)
34 Ventforet Kofu (14)
31 JEF United Chiba (15)
29 Avispa Fukuoka (14)
28 Sagan Tosu (3)
26 Tochigi SC (8)
26 Roasso Kumamoto (-3)
23 Tokushima Vortis (-2)
21 FC Gifu (-10)
20 Tokyo Verdy (2)
20 Ehime FC (-1)
20 Consadole Sapporo (-4)
20 Mito Hollyhock (-4)
19 Oita Trinita (-1)
19 Yokohama FC (-2)
13 Kataller Toyama (-14)
12 Fagiano Okayama (-12)
10 Gilabantz Kitakyushu (-13)
10 Thespa Kusatsu (-14)

It's still early days but you could probably pencil in Kashiwa for promotion already. Kofu too, are picking up after a slow start and look a clear second place.
The third place looks likely to be fought between Chiba and Fukuoka going on current form.
Sagan, Tochigi, Kumamoto, Tokushima and Yokohama, if they get their feet out of their arses, could all challenge for the third spot but on current form look just out of touch.
All of the teams from Gifu down already look like they will be fighting for a top 10 finish and not much more.
Still, just over half a season to go and anything can happen..

R18 vs Fagiano Okayama

FC Gifu 1-0 Fagiano Okayama (ht 1-0)

A great goal by Nogaito to start the game off in the third minute.
After that the game was Okayama's...
Fortunately for Gifu their strikers are worse than ours!

R17 vs Yokohama FC

Yokohama FC 2-0 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)

Again Gifu were unable to convert their pressure...
Defence was in ruins...

R16 vs Tochigi SC

Tochigi SC 2-0 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)

Gifu again dominated but were unable to convert the pressure. A shocking call by the ref (blowing the whistle to stop a free kick, but allowing Tochigi to play on and score while the Gifu players were waiting for the ball to be reset) ultimately cost Gifu any chance of getting points from the game.

R15 vs Mito Hollyhock

FC Gifu 1-0 Mito Hollyhock (ht 0-0)

Gifu finally get back on board with a great loop shoot goal to Shimada. Gifu dominated for the first time in a while...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

R14 vs Sagan Tosu

Sagan Tosu 3 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 2-0)

Gifu finished off their killer schedule of five trips in two months to Kyuushuu with two wins and three losses. Not too bad considering..
The game against Tosu though showed the tiredness that the team was feeling, and also Manager Kuratas reluctance to change the starting members in positions that need changing, for example defence...

Back to Meadow next week and a big game against Mito. Mito is looking average, but so are we. A must win to get out of the rutt that we're in...

R13 vs Kashiwa Reysol

FC Gifu 0 - 2 Kashiwa Reysol (ht 0-1)

Kashiwa were way to good for Gifu who only offered two shots at goal.
As for the Kashiwa fans... well they did turn up in numbers which was good to see but... there were punches thrown, shirts ripped, rubbish all over the place, and they even made their own drum out of a broken flagpole and a suitcase - even though drums are banned at Meadow.
Half of em look like they come out of a yakuza movie...
ah... Kashiwa, gotta love em.
(still, their team is awesome, and levels above the other teams in the league...)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

R12 vs Tokushima Vortis

Tokushima Vortis 4 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 0-0)

This was always going to happen. Gifu held out in the first half and actually slightly dominated but in the end the tiredness of the rough travel schedule that they faced finally caught up with them and they were pasted.

Hopefully the team will be a bit more rested for the game against Kashiwa who are unbeaten this week, or else a similar scoreline could be on the cards...

R11 vs Thespa Kusatsu

FC Gifu 2 - 1 Thespa Kusatsu (ht 0-0)

Gifu won their first game at Meadow with goals to Oshitani and Tanaka just after half time.
A good all round effort.

R10 vs Gilabantz Kitakyushu

Gilabantz Kitakyushu 0 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 0-1)

Nishikawa steals a goal just before half time. Both teams looked average but we did just enough.

R9 vs JEF Chiba

JEF Chiba 2 - 0 FC Gifu 0 (ht 1-0)

Chiba were too strong here, we were anything but...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

R8 vs Tokyo Verdy

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

I don't know what it is about Tokyo Verdy. They sit at the bottom of the table playing unispiring football until they hit us and then they play us...
It happened last year, and now this year too.
We played like rubbish, and although a draw wouldn't have been too unfair, Tokyo definitely deserved the win more than us.

The atmosphere at Meadow (the new ground for the rest of the year) was pretty uninspiring. Although we are literally about three metres away from the players, without the drums and flags (banned because the grounds in a residential area), the fans couldn't get into the game as much as hoped and the game brought back memories of the Tokai league era...

Anyway, enough about that.
Time to get me tickets and head up to Chiba this weekend for the game against JEF!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

R7 vs Avispa Fukuoka

Avispa Fukuoka 0 - 2 FC Gifu

Gifu picked up where they left off last week with a good 2-0 win over Fukuoka to win away for the first time this year.
Gifu dominated in the first half and Nagayoshi was awarded with his first J2 goal.
In the second half Satou knocked in a corner and then withheld Fukuoka to record the win.

This week, those evil green bastards from Tokyo...
Can Gifu win three in a row??
Or will Verdy cause more heartache for the team???

All will be revealed at Nagaragawa Meadow this weekend!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

R5 vs Consadole Sapporo

FC Gifu 3 - 0 Consadole Sapporo (ht 0-0)

Gifu finally awoke from their slumber and after withstanding the Sapporo storm in the first half, they came back to register two goals through Nishikawa, and a cracker from Shimada.

Next week... yet another trip down south, this time against Avispa Fukuoka who were held to a 0-0 draw with Tokyo Verdy last week.

Will be interesting to see how we go in this game.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

R4 vs Roasso Kumamoto

Roasso Kumamoto 1 - 0 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)

A missed pass right on half time let Kumamoto get the winner here. Gifu played better in the first half but lost momentum in the second half, and finished with just three shots at goal.
3 losses on the trot.
Next game vs Sapporo at home.
Shiver me timbers...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

R3 vs Ventforet Kofu

FC Gifu 0 - 1 Ventforet Kofu (ht 0-0)

Gifu were outplayed by Kofu but looked like they might get a draw here, until ex-Gifu player Katagiri knocked in a goal in the 85th minute.
The ref was a shocker.
But we didn't deserve to win.

R2 vs Oita Trinita

Oita Trinita 3 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)

Gifu played better but....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

R1 vs Kataller Toyama

FC Gifu 2 - 1 Kataller Toyama (ht 0-1)

Gifu started off the 2010 season with a good 2-1 come-from-behind over rivals Kataller Toyama in Gifu on sunday. Only the main stand was open for spectators at Nagaragawa, but 4000 fans turned up to watch Gifu come from behind at half time and steal an important first victory.
Toyama outplayed Gifu in the first half but were lucky not to go behind when Oshitani missed a PK. In the second half Gifu hit their stride with the injection of Shimada, who scored their first goal, and then Oshitani's great second goal.

Next week the team travel to Oita, where they will face Trinita who lost 2-1 away to Kashiwa Reysol in round 1. Should be a good one!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pre-season vs Nagoya Grampus 2010

Nagoya Grampus 1 - 1 FC Gifu (ht 1-0)

FC Gifu rewrote the record books when they scored their first goal and managed their first draw against MeiGi derby rivals Nagoya Grampus on sunday. The game was played under clear skies at Mizuho with about 1000 Gifu fans making up the small crowd of 6800. Expectations amongst Gifu fans was not for a win, but for restricting Nagoya to a respectable score while possibly pinching a goal for themselves. This was a battle between rags and riches afterall.
Grampus played the first half as expected. Tight defence smothered Gifu who were barely allowed a look in. All over the park Nagoya dominated possession and set the tone for the pace of the game. In the 30th minute Tamada dribbled his way through to a nicely worked goal. It looked like the floodgates would then open but...
In the second half Gifu came out fired up and started to pressure the Grampus defenders while upping their ball retention. Grampus still looked like anyone of their players could fire in another goal, but brave defense by keeper Noda (and later Murao) and some indecision upfront by the midfield and forwards, kept the score at one.
It was three minutes into overtime that Nishikawa latched on to a pass by Shimada and shot in a beautiful goal to send the Gifu fans into raptures.

How Gifu managed to draw this game against a star-studded Nagoya is still a bit of a mystery, but alot could be read into how both fans and players seemed to treat the game.
Grampus fans didn't sing or chant and just watched the game as if it were a training match. The players too, after scoring the first goal seemed to relax a bit too much.
Gifu players though probably had alot more motivation and kept going til the very end, while the fans kept cheering and chanting til the last minute. Add this to the fact that Gifu are young and fit and are strong finishers in the second half, and you can probably see why they got the result that they did.

Still, the MeiGi Derby is over for another year and Gifu finally have something to show for their efforts. Hopefully this year the teams won't have to meet in the Emperor's Cup again! Unless of course, it's in the final. (Hey we can dream can't we!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Practice/Pre-season matches

February 6
Vissel Kobe 1 - 0 FC Gifu (Kobe)
February 13
FC Gifu 2 - 3 Matsumoto Yamaga FC (Gifu)
February 20
Honda Lock 1 - 3 FC Gifu (Miyazaki)
February 21
Avispa Fukuoka 6 - 1 FC Gifu (Miyazaki)
February 24
Montedio Yamagata 1 - 3 FC Gifu (Miyazaki)
February 27
FC Gifu 3 - 0 Tsukuba University (Gifu)
February 28
Nagoya Grampus 1 - 1 FC Gifu (Nagoya)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2010 J2 Schedule

The schedule has been finalised for the J1 and the J2.
It can be found here.

Gifu has been given a rough draw.
1. They play most of the "top" teams in the first two months of the competition. This could work in their favor if teams have yet to work out all their combinations, but probably more realistically it will work against a young team like Gifu who will take time to find their feet, as it did with 2009.
2. In the toughest part of the J2, from april 25 to may 13, when the teams have to play seven games in nineteen days, Gifu's schedule is as follows:
04/25 at Chiba - Very tough game - Transport = Bus
04/29 at Kitakyushu - Tired team - Transport = Train/Airplane
05/02 vs Kusatsu - Gifu would expect to win but tiredness might play a key role
05/05 at Tokushima - Again tiredness - Transport = Bus
05/08 vs Kashiwa - Back home but tough opposition
05/13 at Tosu - And back down to Kyuushuu... Transport = Plane
05/22 vs Mito - Gifu would expect to win this but witht the team being so tired...
There will be seven teams lucky enough to get their BYE in their somewhere, but Gifu can shake their fists at the JFA for this one. No money, and the club is forced to use planes twice but has to settle with cramped bus conditions with little time for rest or recovery.
3. The timing of the first BYE! The J-league breaks up for a month during the Football World Cup, and Gifu are unlucky enough to get the BYE the first week back! Who needs a week-off after a month off....

In the second half of the competition, most teams schedule is pretty even, but with the start that Gifu faces they will be doing really well not to be sitting down the bottom of the table come World Cup time.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010 New Uniform!

Photo courtesy of

Gifu's new uniform. What can we say. Quite a change from the previous seasons. The home uniform is yellow and green striped. Looks too much like Australia for my liking... but the green looks nicer than the mould green that has been used the last few seasons.
Away is Grey and black. Quite boring... but most away uniforms in the J-league are!
The keepers uniforms have changed from red to light blue or black. Although the black looks pretty cool, I wonder if it will cause any problems visually for the players, especially in night games.

The most pleasant thing about the uniform must be the chest sponsor! Thank you Real World!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pre Season Match 2010

Just announced that FC Gifu will play there annual preseason not-so-friendly against Nagoya Grampus on February 28th.
Forget about a win, Grampus are going to be tougher than ever this year. The goal has to be... a goal!! At least one!
We can dream about some kind of victory, but this looks like it's going to be the toughest Grampus team that we've seen in a while, and maybe the weakest Gifu team to date...
Still, whatever, play with pride and guts, and we never know what's going to happen!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Opening Games!!

March 3 vs Kataller Toyama (home)

March 14 vs Oita Trinita (away)

For the first time we get a home opener. This time against neighbouring Toyama, who will be a tough first up opponent for (well, they probably all would be!). In the last two seasons we drew 1-1 away to Kofu, and won 1-0 away at Tochigi so we usually start off not too bad. Hopefully we can get that all important first win out of the way in this game. Still not sure where it will be played, Gifu Meadow or in Ichinomiya, but should be a tight game.
The first away game is against the demoted Oita Trinita. I can't miss that one. Will be interesting to see how Oita play in the J2 and what kind of support they'll get. It will also ex-FC Gifu midfielder Takeshi Umeda play against his old club for the first time.
Probably the four must see away games for any Gifu supporter are Oita, Kashiwa, Chiba and the newly promoted Kitakyuushuu. Hopefully, if the schedule is friendly to me, I'll get to all these games this year. Who knows, we may only get one chance to visit them away if they gain promotion at the end of the year.