Another game against Fukuoka, another game where we should have got something out of it, but another game where Fukuoka took all three points.
FC Gifu starting XI: Kawaguchi, Abe, Kitani, Nakamura, Masuyama, Mori, Henik, Mizuno, Takachi, Endo, Nazarit
Gifu got off to the worst possible start when they fell behind after only three minutes. A very well worked corner routine left striker Takeshi Kanamori in space. His first shot was blocked, but he made no mistake with his second attempt, steering his shot into the bottom corner past Kawaguchi.
It is very rare that Gifu don’t score, but it wasn’t for the lack of chances in this game. Junki Endo should have done better when Taisuke Mizuno’s brilliant cross found him at the far post, but he put his shot wide. Nazarit was next up, but after outpacing the Fukuoka defence he too put his shot wide of the target while at the other other end Gifu were grateful when Nakahara put a very score-able chance over the bar.
Gifu continued to create chances in the second half, with Nazarit at the fore again. Avispa defenders were finding it difficult to cope with the big Colombian’s pace but he couldn’t convert either of two chances from the left edge of the penalty area.
Avispa could have gone two nil up but Daisuke Sakata’s chip over Kawaguchi, which came after Gifu carelessly gave possession away in a dangerous area, went just wide of the post. Avispa goalkeeper Kamiyama came to his sides rescue in the final stages when he got a vital hand on a Nazarit cross, a cross which would have left Ryoto Higa with a tap in.
But, alas, Gifu couldn’t find a goal and Avispa held on for the win. As with the reverse fixture earlier this season, Gifu did more than enough to claim a draw but a lack of composure in front of goal cost them. But the attacking performance overall was good: Avispa are no mugs and have some good players. They’ll be in or around the fringes of the play-offs but Gifu matched them in both games. As long as the chances still get created, then Gifu won’t draw many more blanks this year.
Sometimes (although it always seems to be against Avispa!) these games happen. Let’s hope to get back on track when Gifu welcome Yasutoshi Miura’s Tokyo Verdy at the Nagaragawa next week.
- To get a detailed view from the Avispa Fukuoka side, visit the always excellent Avispa Eigo site
(only the Avispa goal highlight has been uploaded to Youtube, I’ll update when full highlights become available)