A big win, in every sense, as a youthful FC Gifu showed strength, desire and a little bit of magic to secure this win.
FC Gifu starting XI: Tokihisa, Nogaito, Masuyama, Sekita, Abe, Higa, Mizuno, Henik, Takachi, Namba, Endo.
This was a young Gifu side, with an average age of 25, but still with the experience of Takachi, Namba & Tokihisa to call upon.
Gifu took the lead after 30 minutes, and the coolest guy on the pitch did the honours. Junki Endo did brilliantly well to chase down a weak backpass that forced Roasso ‘keeper Hata into a mis-kick which resulted in the ball falling to Keiji Takachi 40 yards from goal. The midfielder kept his cool to pass the ball into the empty net.
Gifu head to weather a few storms in the second half, but made the game safe in the 84th minute with a goal that had a touch of stardust sprinkled on it. A long ball was played down the left hand side in the direction of Junki Endo for the express purpose of relieving pressure. Endo bustled Roasso defender Shinohara off the ball, turned him inside-out before finishing expertly under Hata. A fine goal, and one that adds to his rapidly growing reputation at Gifu.
Gifu even had time to add a third goal, with Tsukasa Masuyama finishing off a quick counter attack led by impressive substitute Takumi Kiyomoto. The goal was Masuyama’s second in two games.
Very impressive. Roasso fans hoping to catch of glimpse of Gifu’s “legends” would have left disappointed, but they will have to have been impressed with Gifu’s youngsters. Junki Endo, at 19, looks the part. He is like a 19 year old Namba – never gives anything up, is always running, and shows nice composure. Higa & Mizuno gave energy to the midfield. However, it was captain Takachi who led this team to victory with another outstanding performance. Shogo Tokihisa was also very impressive in goal.
This victory will give the coach something to think about. His goal all along has been to have the young players ready for summer to take the pressure off, and give a rest to, some of the older players. By the looks of this game, they are ready. It just remains to be seen as to what extent they get a run in the team.