V-Varen Nagasaki game public viewing

On the back of the success of previous public viewings, FC Gifu are hosting another one for the V-Varen Nagasaki game on Sunday evening.

It will be in the Active-G part of JR Gifu Station, and will open at 5pm in readiness for the 6pm kick off. As well as the game itself, some FC Gifu players will be in attendance and there will also be an official goods shop, a ticket shop selling tickets for the home games in August as well other games & events.

Also, there will be a TV screen put in the “beer hall” area of Active G for those people wanting to partake in that kind of stuff. And I dare say a few people will be. Cheers!

Welcome Kleiton Domingues

On Wednesday morning, FC Gifu announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Kleiton Domigues on loan from J1 side Tokushima Vortis. Kleiton, younger brother of current Nagoya Grampus midfielder Leandro, made 10 appearances for the Shikoku club this term, but with Vortis signing fellow Brazilian Adriano, it meant that they needed to vacate a foreign player spot. Thus, Domingues was available and Ramos snapped him up.

Kleiton, given the number 7 shirt, played 10 times for Vortis this year, usually lining up just off the striker, although I’m told he has played up front as well. It will be interesting to see where he plays, and given that Nazarit is suspended for the upcoming trip to Nagasaki one wonders whether he will make his debut there.

Kleiton Domingues statement:

  • “I will try to get familiar with my new team-mates as soon as possible. I like to play in forward areas, and my strengths are in that area. I want to score and/or assist as much as possible and I will always fight and be aggressive for the team.”

Welcome Kleiton!!

FC Gifu 2-2 Fagiano Okayama

  • 4 goals
  • 1 red card
  • 1 missed penalty
  • 2 controversial incidents
  • Countless heart-in-mouth moments
  • 1 exceptional game of football

FC Gifu and Fagiano Okayama played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in one of the best games Nagaragawa has seen for some time.

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FC Gifu starting line-up: Kawaguchi, Abe, Nakamura, Sekita, Tanaka, Masuyama, Mizuno, Kiyomoto, Takachi, Endo Nazarit

The majority of the first half simply couldn’t have gone worse for Gifu as they found themselves 2-0 down after 25 minutes. The first goal was a really poor one to concede. It came from a simple corner that was swung in to the near post where Fagiano defender Shingo Kukita lost his marker before angling a header in. Gifu have to cut these kinds of simple goals out of their diet. Worse was to come when Soichi Tanaka put the visitors two goals to the good. It came after good work from Mimura and Eiichi Katayama down the left led to the ball ricocheting to Tanaka, and he kept his cool to put the away side firmly in control.

At this point I was considering the possibility that Ramos could quite easily make all three substitutions at half time because Gifu were so poor. But, from out of nowhere, Gifu pulled a goal back just before half time. Shuto Tanaka’s inviting cross was met by Nazarit, who powered a header past Nakabayashi. It was a real bullet header and one that lifted the doom & gloom away from the stadium. Suddenly, there was hope for Gifu.

It is hard to find the right words to say how much that changed the atmosphere and the outlook of the game, but when Gifu re-appeared in the second half they looked like a completely different team. They set about tearing Fagiano open time & time again with Nazarit looking undefendable at times, and the pace of Junki Endo was causing problems. Controversy in the 54th minute when a Hideyuki Nakamura header looked to have crossed the line before being swatted away by Nakabayashi, but the assistant referee was unmoved. (I don’t want to criticize officials too much, as they have a hard job – especially when a quick replay would’ve shown that the ball did indeed cross the line. All I will say is that I was stood roughly in line the ball and it looked to me that the ball was in. But goal-line technology exists, so why don’t we use it?)

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More controversy followed when Yuki Oshitani was adjudged to have brought down Takumi Kiyomoto in the area. I can’t say whether the referee was trying to even things up, but there was a lot of pressure on him at that point. Nazarit, possibly remembering his miss against Nagasaki, opted for power instead of placement but his shot penalty cannoned off the cross bar and landed a full thirty yards behind him, such was the power.

Nazarit wasn’t to be denied though, as an in the 71st minute he slammed home his second of the game after a bit of a goalmouth scramble. Endo sent Higa away doen the right and his low cross evaded Nazarit and Kiyomoto, but an attempted clearance fell straight to Naza and he smashed the ball into the net. After scoring, he ran towards the fans in the corner and you could see the relief & ecstasy in both Naza & the supporters.

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But, to keep the the game at 2-2, it needed a superb save from Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi to deny former team-mate (at Jubilo Iwata) Yuki Oshitani. Oshitani was sent clear to go 1-on-1 with Yoshi, but the keeper clawed Oshitani’s dink away for a corner.

Gifu were then reduced to 10 men as Hiroshi Sekita was given a straight red card for pulling down Yuki Oshitani thus denying him a goalscoring opportunity leaving Gifu to defend the final 15 minutes or so a man down. Fagiano hit the bar from a free kick and wasted a glorious opportunity when Oshitani blazed over, but Gifu managed to hold firm and come away with a thoroughly deserved point.

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Talk about a game of two halves! Gifu were woeful for much of the first half – while Fagiano showed why they were 16 games unbeaten. In particular, winger Makoto Mimura tore Gifu to shreds in a display was possibly the best individual player display I’ve seen this year. However, in the second half, Nazarit decided to turn “beast mode” and bullied Okayama defenders into submission time & time again. If only he could take penalties!! But, it is odd to think he is still just 23 years old – he’s going to get better. Keiji Takachi ran the game in the second half but he had able assistance from Junki Endo & substitute Ryoto Higa (who seems to get better every time I see him).

Next up is another long trip to Nagasaki, typhoon permitting, for a meeting with Koichi Sato, Stipe Plazibat and friends.

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FC Gifu v Fagiano Okayama

Team news:

Kosuke Kitani is suspended for Gifu, and he will be a big miss for the team. Masanori Abe should slot in next to Hiroshi Sekita in the centre of defence. Brazilian midfielder Henik however is still suspended. One change might be to give Ryoto Higa a start in midfield as he has bundles of energy, but I think Ramos would be loathe to drop Masashi Miyazawa so Taisuke Mizuno woud be the man most likely to give way, if indeed Ramos wants to make a change.  Taira Inoue impressed on his return from injury last week, but one wonders whether two games in 5 days is too much for him at this point. It is possible Hirofumi Moriyasu or Higa replaces him.

For Fagiano Okayama, they are in the midst of their longest ever unbeaten run, currently at 15 games, and so you’d expect them to have a settled team. But that isn’t the case, especially in relation to their forwards where apart from Tomoyuki Arata, all of their seven other strikers have started at least 7 games this year. Maybe that’s why they are doing so well, it is quite hard to prepare for them if you don’t whether they’ll go with the aerial ability of Yuichi Kubo, the off the top play of Yuki Oshitani & Shintaro Shimizu or the side threat of Makoto Mimura.

My predicted starting XI: Kawaguchi, Masuyama, Abe, Sekita, Shuto Tanaka, Miyazawa, Mizuno, Higa, Takachi, Endo, Nazarit

Form guide last 5 league games (most recent first):

  • FC Gifu: WLWLD
  • Fagiano Okayama: WWDDD

Top scorers:

  • FC Gifu: Nazarit 8, Hiroaki Namba 7
  • Fagiano Okayama: Eiichi Katayama 5, Yuki Oshitani 4

Previous games in Gifu:

  • 2009 FC Gifu 4-0 Fagiano Okayama
  • 2010 FC Gifu 1-0 Fagiano Okayama
  • 2011 FC Gifu 1-3 Fagiano Okayama
  • 2012 FC Gifu 1-2 Fagiano Okayama
  • 2013 FC Gifu 0-0 Fagiano Okayama

Overall J.League history between the two sides:

  • FC Gifu wins: 6
  • Fagiano Okayama wins: 3
  • Draws: 3

Club connections:

Fagiano boast two recent acquisitions from FC Gifu. Forward Yuki Oshitani spent time here on loan from Jubilo Iwata, firmly establishing himself as a popular player. And Kazuki Someya left Gifu in the summer to sign on at Kanko Stadium. Someya had a superb year for Gifu last year, scoring 10 goals and creating many more as he proved to be the main player responsible for keeping Gifu in J2. This year it hasn’t quite worked out for him in Okayama as he has only started 5 times for them. How I would love to see him back in Gifu colours – he would thrive in this current system.

Match details:

  • J.League Division 2, matchday 24: FC Gifu v Fagiano Okayama.
  • Venue: Nagaragawa Memorial Stadium, KO 7pm.
  • Broadcast: Live on Skapa premium service.
  • Weather: Hot and humid. Cloudy with a 30% chance of rain. High of 32°C.

Wednesday’s events

 

If jazz and beer are your thing, then the Nagaragawa stadium may be the place for you on Wednesday evening. There will be an all you can drink offer (¥1500 for guys, ¥1000 for gals) due this game being sponsored in part by Kirin Beer.

Also, before the game and at half time, there’ll be jazz music as part of Gifu’s jazz festival.

And, of course, Yuki Oshitani & (hopefully) Kazuki Someya will be returning to where they once played. Should be a great, not to mention hot, evening down by the river!

Hidemi Jinushizono leaves

Sad news from the club today with the news that Hidemi Jinushizono has parted ways with Gifu.

Jinu showed lots of promise early in his career as a box-to-box midfielder, but a horrible broken leg sustained in a game at Giravanz Kitakyushu robbed him of a chance to progress. I hope he regains full fitness somewhere and that he has another crack at playing.

Jinushizono’s message:

  • Thank you to everyone at the club who supported me for three years. I feel bad that I couldn’t return from injury and contribute to the team. I hope you’ll continue to support me in the future.

I’m sure everyone wishes him all the best for his future.