Very brief report on this game, the game which made Thespa safe for another year in J2.

Conditions looked pretty bad in Tottori (Tottori, along with Toyama, look like places that don’t have any decent weather), but it didn’t stop the visitors making a quick start as they took the lead within four minutes of the start. Lovinho made his way to the edge of the area and his lay-off to Tada resulted in the defender smashing a 20 yard shot that flew past Tottori ‘keeper Kobari. Eijirou Takeda almost equalized immediately, but his left-footed, inswinging cross hit the post. It was Takeda who was responsible for Gaianre’s leveler just before half time though, as another of his wicked deliveries brushed the head of Gunma defender Tatsushi Koyanagi and evaded everyone else to end up in the net.

Gainare pushed for a winner, but fell short and Thespa got the point they needed to make sure of J2 football next year. It looks bleak for Gainare now, and the body language of the players & fans after the game showed that they know it too. They have to win at least one of their remaining two games to have any chance of catching Gifu, something that they haven’t done since July. Their final two games are:

  • Giravanz Kitakyushu (A)
  • JEF United (H)

FC Gifu meanwhile only have to match what Gainare do to finish 21st. Their remaining games are:

  • Consadole Sapporo (H)
  • Kataller Toyama (A)

Next week will be nail-biting for fans of both teams.