Not for the first time this season, Gifu surrendered a two goal lead to ultimately go home disappointed.
FC Gifu starting XI: Kawaguchi, Abe, Nakamura, Kitani, Shuto Tanaka, Masuyama, Henik, Miyazawa, Takachi, Endo, Nazarit
Gifu took the lead five minutes before the break, and it was bang-in-form Nazarit who put them in front. Henik played him through one on one with Gunma keeper Daiki Tomii and he finished with supreme confidence, as befitting someone who had just notched his 12th goal of the season.
Gifu went two nil up with 11 minutes left on clock, and it is a goal that Gunma keeper Tomii will want to forget in a hurry. A long ball in the direction of Junki Endo looked far too long – but Tomii completely misjudged the ball, kicked thin air and ended up completely out of his goal which allowed Nazarit, who was in the right place at the right time, to pass the ball into the empty net from 25 yards out.
But (and stop me if I sound like a scratched CD here) Gifu are seemingly at their most vulnerable after scoring and today proved no different. Three minutes after Nazarit’s goal, Gunma got a free on the right edge of the penalty area. It was beautifully sent in by Miyazaki and Eder, on as a substitute, powered his header into the net. Gunma could sense their chance, and their equalizer came in the 95th minute (never mind the fact that there were only four minutes of scheduled injury time) from another substitute. Gunma broke, and the ball found its way to Ryuichi Hirashige who kept his cool and lifted the ball over Kawaguchi with what turned out to be the last kick of the game.
Ruy Ramos, quite understandably, looked furious at the final whistle as Gifu threw away yet more points after being in a winning position, just like they had done against JEF United, Giravanz Kitakyushu, Yokohama FC etc.
But, rather than dwell on the negatives I’ll try and inject a bit of positivity by contrasting this year with last year.
- After 27 games in 2013: P27 W5 D6 L16 For 22 Against 55 Pts 21
- After 27 games this year: P 27 W10 D6 L11 For 41 Against 41 Pts 36
See, it isn’t all bad. Stay positive people!!