Omiya breezed into Gifu and tore into the hosts in a sobering encounter which punctured Gifu’s recent good form.
FC Gifu starting line up: G.Ota, Fukaya, Takagi, Okane, Nogaito, Masuyama, Ota, Miyazawa, Takachi, Rodrigo, Leo Mineiro
The big news as far as Gifu was concerned was that top scorer Hiroaki Namba was left on the bench, not an injury I was told. The team looked as if was going to lineup in a 3-5-2 formation, a formation which has caused the team more than a few problems in the past.
It was a pretty even first 10 minutes, but after that Omiya seized control and put on an attacking clinic that Gifu simply couldn’t handle. The visitors took the lead in the 15th minute, when Jin Izumisawa followed up in a goalmouth scramble to poke the ball in from close range. Izumisawa went close to adding a second, but his shot cannoned back off the post with Ota beaten. At the other end, Keisuke Ota had Gifu’s best chance, but he saw his low shot hit the post, and after that episode, Omiya went for the jugular.
Their second goal came from a very simple set piece. They isolated Gifu’s smallest defender, Shun Nogaito, and placed tall defender Kosuke Kikuchi on him. Carlinhos floated the ball over Nogaito’s head and Kikuchi headed the ball past an exposed Ota. Things went from bad to worse when, once again, Omiya attacked down their left and the ball found its way to Shigeru Yokotani, and his shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection which directed it past the helpless Gifu goalkeeper. The icing on the cake for Omiya’s first half came just before the break when the highly impressive Izumisawa crossed from the left (again) and Ryuji Bando nipped in in front of Gakuji Ota to poke the ball into the net. Half time came and the score read an improbable 4-0 to the visitors.
The second half was pretty much an anti-climax. Gifu brought on Yuto Ono & Takumi Kiyomoto to try and add some enthusiasm, while Omiya introduced Serbian forward Dragan Mrdja. Omiya again controlled the pace of the game, but Leo Mineiro had a good chance for the hosts, but his half volley was stopped on the line by Ardija ‘keeper Kato. Omiya got their fifth and final goal in the 64th minute when Mrdja was sent clear and his left footed shot took a deflection which allowed the ball to squirm past Ota.
To be fair to Gifu, they didn’t give up. They continued to chase lost causes and fight for 50-50 balls, but Omiya saw the game out without any real issues and secured a win which took them top of J2.
This was a highly impressive performance from the visitors. Izumisawa in particular was a constant threat down the left, full of tricks and very lively. Gifu on the other hand have to forget about this result as quickly as possible given the big game against Mito coming up next week. My guess is that we’ll see a very different team to the one that started this one, especially given that Henik & Masanori Abe will be back from suspension and I’m almost certain Hiroaki Namba will start.
Anyway, props to all the supporters who made the effort to get out on a Sunday night. The atmosphere was really good. Onwards & upwards!
Highlights from the game: