A bit late with this one, got laid low by a “summer cold”
A point is welcome in any situation for Gifu, but this is a game that could, and should, have yielded 3 points.
As is the norm these days, Gyotoku’s team selection contained a couple of surprises. Firstly, Atsushi Mio came back into the side in place of Shibahara while Masato Yamazaki, celebrating his birthday, replace on-loan Grampus youngster Taisuke Mizuno.
The visitors left Chikara Fujimoto on the bench and started with Nakama & Kazuki Saito up front. Roasso were looking to continue their sparkling recent form, having won their three previous outings.
It was Gifu who were first to threaten through on-loan Hiroki Higuchi. He found himself in space around 30 yards out and he hit a powerful left footed shot which flew just over. It wasn’t particularly good stuff from either side, but Gifu were shading the possession in the first half and Higuchi again came close when his shot on the turn was saved down low by Roasso ‘keeper Minami. That was about as exciting as the first half got really, with Roasso showing very little of recent form. The only other talking point was how Hayato Nakama avoided a caution after repeated infringements.
The second half started the same way the first had finished – poorly. Gifu again were first to “threaten” as Desmond decided to take matters into his own hands but his half volley went about 50 yards over. Still, it was encouraging that Gifu players were being encouraged to shoot. Gifu had a semi-decent shout for a penalty when Someya was barged/pushed off the ball, but the ref was having none of it. The biggest chance of the game came on 64 minutes when Higuchi latched on to a clever Mio flick on, but he could only fire at the keeper when clean through. Big, big chance for a team that don’t create many chances. Roasso nearly snatched the three points but Saito’s shot hit the post and rebounded into the grateful arms of Tokihisa.
Full time, and it finished 0-0. In all honesty, not a great game of football. A point is not a bad result, but it really could have been more. Gifu are still yet to win at home this year, and now they face two tricky (aren’t they all?) assignments away from home in the next couple of weeks as they travel Mito Hollyhock & Avispa Fukuoka.