FC Gifu now languish at the bottom of J2 after another home defeat and yet another game in which they failed to score.

In full disclosure, I wasn’t able to attend this game but it sounds like I didn’t miss much. On the team sheet it appeared that Gifu were going with their favoured 4-5-1 system despite the presence of 6 defenders, those being Tanaka, Sekita, Desmond, Nogaito, Moriyasu & Sugiyama. Sugiyama, as in previous matches, was played as midfielder but this was the first time I’ve seen Moriyasu slated as a midfielder. He has always struck me as someone who is better going forward so I can see how he could be played in that position. Further forward, Fabio made his full debut for the club with Inoue still out injured. Club captain Toshihiro Hattori was on the bench.

Vortis came into this game on the back of a win against Avispa Fukuoka and they made one change with Korean forward Kim Jong Min, who caused problems for Gifu in the same fixture last season, coming in for the injured Hiroyuki Takasaki. Last year’s fixture attracted over 11,000 as Gifu fought for their J2 survival, but this game’s crowd was sure to be smaller.

Vortis were the better side in the opening exchanges and wasted a good chance to go ahead after good work from Kim on the left. His pullback found Ota but his shot was blocked on the line by Gifu defender Sekita. The warning signs weren’t heeded however and the visitors went ahead just before the half hour mark. A quick build up on the left gave room for Fujiwara to cross and although Gifu had enough men to deal with the situation Kim Jong-Min headed home from 8 yards out, unchallenged in doing so. This isn’t the first time Gifu have been found wanting from crosses and it something that needs to rectified quickly.

At half time it was 1-0 to Vortis and things went from bad to worse for Gifu when Fabio was sent off 5 minutes after the break. He was already on a booking when he foolishly lunged in late on a Tokushima defender. It was in a nothing area of the pitch and he could quite easily have been given a straight red instead of the 2nd yellow he was shown. Gifu were down to ten men and without their striker but Gyotoku decided not to sacrifice a defensive player to bring on any of Lemos, Nakashima or Kiyomoto immediately thus leaving Mio as the lone forward with only Someya as support. Not ideal when you are 1-0 down. Sekita came close after 53 minutes when his header from Mio’s perfectly flighted free kick went just wide. Tokushima were still in control though, and after 70 minutes Ozaki’s long range drive flew just over Tokihisa’s crossbar. The closest the home side came to drawing level was when Desmond’s clever back header from Kazuki Someya’s cross came back off the post with 15 minutes remaining.

As it was, Gifu couldn’t muster another good chance and game finished 1-0 to Vortis. Their small but merry band of fans would make the long trip back to Shikoku in a very good mood, while the mood in the Gifu supporters’ camp couldn’t be more different. The stats don’t make nice reading. 5 games, no wins, no goals and 2 red cards. Very little attacking threat and no sign of it changing in the near future. Speaking of the near future Gifu head to the Ajinomoto Stadium next week to face second-bottom Tokyo Verdy. Whilst it is hard to see Verdy being down there for the whole season, right now they are in a bad way and have as many wins as Gifu – 0. Big game next week.

Positives for Gifu: Hmmmmmm……..

Negatives for Gifu: Another red card is never a good thing, but Fabio’s was reckless and his second challenge was in an area of the pitch where there was absolutely nothing to be gained by putting in that kind of challenge. And again, bad marking has cost Gifu, just as it cost them against Vissel Kobe.

Next up: Tokyo Verdy, away, Sunday 4pm

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