FC Gifu 0-5 Omiya Ardija

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Anyway, props to all the supporters who made the effort to get out on a Sunday night. The atmosphere was really good. Onwards & upwards!

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Highlights from the game:

FC Gifu v Omiya Ardija

Two of the league’s form sides meet at Nagaragawa on Sunday evening when FC Gifu host promotion challenging Omiya Ardija.

Current form guide:

Both sides are in good form at the minute. FC Gifu have taken 10 points out the last possible 15, and have won their previous two games. Gifu haven’t won three league games in a row since 2009 (or something along those lines). Omiya are one of only three teams that are currently in better form than Gifu, having taken 11 points from the last five games. Their last outing was a 1-1 draw with leaders Jubilo Iwata, a game they could have won had Dragan Mrdja not seen his penalty saved. In fact, Ardija haven’t lost since going down to JEF United back in early April.

FC Gifu news:

As stated in the previous post on here, defender Masanori Abe and Brazilian midfielder Henik are suspended for this game. Other than that, there are no new injury worries and the bulk of the side will probably be the same as the one that won in Kumamoto last week. Hiroaki Namba will look to add to his impressive tally of 8 goals, while the partnership between Namba & Leo Mineiro has been very effective in the last few weeks.

Omiya Ardija news:

No new injuries for the Squirrels to deal with is the word from Saitama, although stats site Football Lab predicts that Keisuke Oyama will replace Shin Kanazawa in midfield. Serbian forward Mrdja is Omiya’s top scorer this season with four goals so far.

Information:

  • This will be the first ever J.League meeting between these two sides
  • Omiya could potentially go top if they win and other results go their way; Gifu could potentially move up to 13th with a win.
  • The match will be broadcast live on local channel Gifu-chan, and also on the Japanese cable channel Sky A+ sports
  • The weather forecast has been all over the place this week, but it is apparently going to be cloudy at kick off time.

Two key suspensions

FC Gifu will go into this Sunday’s showdown with high flying Omiya Ardija minus two of our key performers.

Right back Masanori Abe and defensive midfielder Henik will both miss this game due to suspension. Abe has been growing into his new role really well the last few weeks and will be a miss down the right flank. Possibilities to replace him at right back include Tsukasa Masuyama and Keisuke Ota.

Henik, after an indifferent start to the year, was also showing some good form and it is a real shame he will miss out because Gifu could definitely use his muscle & fight in the centre of the park. Candidates to replace him include Yuto Ono, Taisuke Mizuno or dropping Keiji Takachi into deeper role and allowing Rodrigo to play just behind (I assume) Leo & Namba.

Roasso Kumamoto 1-2 FC Gifu

There must be comething that Ruy Ramos particularly likes about going to Kumamoto, because for the second year running FC Gifu came away from the city with all three points.

FC Gifu starting XI: Ota, Abe, Fukaya, Okane, Nogaito, Henik, Miyazawa, Takachi, Masuyama, Leo Mineiro Namba

The game was played away from Roasso’s usual Umakana stadium, and the pitch at the Suizenji Sports Park looked pretty bad. Roasso were first to threaten early on, but Kazuki Saito’s shot from 8 yards out went wide of Gakuji Ota’s post. To be honest, the first half was short on many things: excitement, quality, goalscoring chances to name a few. But the second half started quite the opposite.

Saito had been Roasso’s most dangerous entity, and his mazy run, coupled with some pretty average defending allowed him to snake into the box finish past Ota – with a little help from a Masanori Abe deflection. But it was only a minute before Gifu were level. Keiji Takachi’s free-kick from the left by centre-back Naoya Okane, and he powered his header into the net to bring the teams level. Roasso then went straight up the other end and when a long throw caused panic n the Gifu area, the ball fell to Saito again but his shot was straight at Ota.

In the 64th minute, Tsukasa Masuyama went for glory with a first time volley from a Namba cross but the ball went over the bar – it would have been a superb goal had it gone in.

The pivotal moment of the match came in the 81st minute when Gifu were awarded a penalty. Leo Mineiro tried an overhead kick in the area, but it was blocked by the hand of a Roasso defender, and it was a definite penalty. Hiroaki Namba stepped up and smashed the ball to the ‘keepers right to give Gifu a precious lead.

There were a few hairy moments from there until the finish, but Gifu held on and secured a win which moved them up to 18th place. Next up – just the small matter Omiya Ardija next Sunday night at the Nagaragawa Stadium.

Happy birthday Mr. Onda!!!

Sunday night saw not only a football game between FC Gifu & Ehime FC, but it also birthday celebrations for our chairman Satoshi Onda.

As you probably already know, Onda suffers from ALS, the degenerative nerve disease, (and the disease which came to the fore through the Ice Bucket Challenge last year) and has been a very high profile subject because of it. He is held in the highest possible regard by the FC Gifu supporters, players & staff and it was felt that a public display of celebration would be fitting for him.

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So, the supporters here decided to mark the day with a pre-match celebration of Onda himself. First it started with a choir group from Onda’s old school, Gifu Kita High School

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Then we moved on to a message from the FC Gifu supporters club

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Then we had the whole stadium sing the birthday song to him

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Lastly, the presents came from Gifu & from a very distinguished Ehime FC supporter

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Onda turned 37 yesterday, and all of us at FC Gifu hope to see him around our club for a long time yet. Forza Onda!

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FC Gifu 2-1 Ehime FC

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A vital win for Gifu as they survived a late scare to emerge victorious on a tense night down by the river.

FC Gifu starting XI: Ota, Abe, Okane, Fukaya, Nogaito, Henik, Miyazawa, Masuyama, Takachi, Leo Mineiro, Namba

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Gifu got off to the best possible start when they took the lead after only 57 seconds, and it was a familiar face back on the scoresheet. Tsukasa Masuyama won the ball in midfield, fed Masanori Abe down the right and his perfect cross found Hiroaki Namba who headed in off the bar to record his seventh goal of the year, and his 50th in J2.

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It was a pretty even first half, but Yuji Senuma had two gilt-edged chances to equalize for Ehime; firstly blasting over after out-muscling Yuki Fukaya and secondly firing straight at Gakuji Ota from close range. Ehime were made to pay the hosts when they doubled their lead just before half time. The excellent Keiji Takachi intercepted a pass in midfield, proceeded into the area before finding Leo Mineiro on his right, and the Brazilian forward kept his cool to slot home his third of the campaign. The half time whistle came, and Gifu went in with a precious two goal advantage.

Ehime came out a bit quicker in the second half, showing more urgency, but it was Gifu that had the first real chance of the half. Shun Nogaito cut the ball back from the by-line to the edge of the area where Henik blasted a first time effort thet Ehime ‘keeper Kodama tipped over the bar. The visitors threw forward Go Nishida on, and the substitution paid dividends as headed in from a corner to ensure a tense last 15 minutes. Those fifteen minutes weren’t without their scary moments, as Kodama made his way up for a corner and Ehime put in cross after cross, but Gifu held firm to record a very important win.

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There lots of good performances from the Gifu side. Namba & Leo look a decent, energetic pairing up front. Keiji Takachi is the most important player in this Gifu team, he always seems to find space and use the ball well. But it took a good defensive effort from the team yesterday, and I thought Naoya Okane was superb. He had a running battle with Yuji Senuma all night long, but he mostly had the better of him. Okane was good in the air, he covered well (especially when Nogaito went forward) and his partnership with Fukaya was the key to this win.

The bottom of J2: 

17 13 2 7 4 9 14 -5 13
18 13 3 3 7 12 20 -8 12
19 13 3 2 8 10 15 -5 11
20 13 2 5 6 10 21 -11 11
21 13 3 2 8 13 25 -12 11
22 13 2 4 7 12 18 -6 10

So, FC Gifu finally move off the bottom, but they face a key test next week when they travel to 20th placed Roasso Kumamoto. But with 7 points from the last 12, Gifu will be in good spirits. Hopefully their good form can continue.

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