Another game, another blank, another defeat and Gifu remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the J2 table. Sounds like an advertisement for the Samaritans…..
Gyotoku decided to go with one up front for this one and so he gave Kohei Nakashima his full debut and left Fabio on the bench. Desmond was suspended, so ex-JEF man Tsukasa Masuyama dropped into central defence. Hiroshi Sekita was also injured so Shuto Tanaka slipped into the centre and ex-Sydney FC man Hirofumi Moriyasu took Tanaka’s place at left back. Hattori & Ri were re-united again in midfield. In another injury setback, Kazuki Someya was unavailable so Daiki Oizumi took up the left midfield spot.
Sanga came into this game on the back of two defeats and they made three changes with Mitsuhira, Yokotani & Bajalica coming into the starting line up.
Almost from the get-go it was Kyoto who were making the running at a very windy Nagaragawa Memorial centre and Kazuki Hara was first to set his sights on goal, flashing an ambitious 30 yard effort into the side netting. Once again, Gifu were finding it tough sledding, but Nakashima did have a shot on 14 minutes, but it was a difficult attempt, swiveling to volley from the edge of the area, and his shot went harmlessly over. In the twentieth minute, Gifu had a lucky escape when Mitsuhira failed to capatilze on Yokotani’s clever lofted through ball. The ex-Oita forward got his toe to the ball but only succeeded in pushing the it wide of Shogo Tokihisa’s goal. A blow for Gifu (as if they needed another one) came on the half hour as Shun Nogaito was forced off with what looked like a lower leg injury. The half petered out and both teams went in at half time scoreless.
Gifu actually had the first half-chance of the second half. Nakashima played a quick pass to Mio on the left hand corner of the area but Mio’s shot screwed wide. As it was, Gifu weren’t to get any better chances than that as the visitors stepped up a gear and went in search of a much-needed win. Kyoto skipper Ando missed a good chance when he shot wide after collecting a cross from Hara and they came even closer when Bajalica’s header was turned over the bar by Tokihisa. Gifu had held firm thus far, but you sensed a goal was coming, and come it did. The impressive Yokotani advanced to the edge of the Gifu area before laying the ball left to the advancing Mitsuhira. His shot wasn’t so powerful but it squirmed past Tokihisa and into the net. The Gifu ‘keeper will be very disappointed that he allowed the ball to get past him. Gifu were really behind the 8 ball now, and Kyoto went for the second goal that would kill off the game, and the second goal duly came albeit from the penalty spot. Mitsuhira played a neat one-two with Hara in the Gifu box before Masuyama brought him down for a clear penalty. Hara assumed spot kick duties and sent Tokihisa the wrong way to put the game out of reach of the home side. Kyoto added a third in injury time after substitute Wilfred Sanou squared for Hara to tap in and claim his second of the game, and his fifth of the season.
Positives for Gifu: I keep saying it, but literally things can only improve from here.
Negatives for Gifu: No goals, a keeper mistake, injuries piling up, stranded at the bottom. Have I missed anything?
Next up: Matsumoto Yamaga, Alwin Stadium, next Sunday 1pm