A quick look back at FC Gifu’s two defeats in the last four days.
- JEF United 1-0 FC Gifu
- FC Gifu starting XI: Kawaguchi, Masuyama, Mori, Henik, Abe, Miyazawa, Takachi, Ota, Mizuno, Kleiton, Namba
Despite a good performance, Gifu left the Fukuda Denshi Arena with no points. Gifu had a half chance through Keisuke Ota before JEF took the lead. Yamato Machida was set free down the right and his crossed picked out Tatsuya Yazawa who sidefooted past Kawaguchi.
Keiji Takachi came close from a free kick that Okamoto pushed away, but then Gifu were reduced to ten men when Tsukasa Masuyama was very harshly adjudged to have brought down Taisuke Nakamura and thus earning his second yellow card.
Gifu continued to impress though, and came so close to leveling, but Junki Endo’s fine effort was pushed on to the bar by Okamoto. Kleiton had Gifu’s last chance, but he fired just over from the edge of the area.
- FC Gifu 2-3 Roasso Kumamoto
- FC Gifu starting XI: Kawaguchi, Mori, Tanaka, Henik, Abe, Takachi, Mizuno, Higa, Kleiton, Endo, Namba
In all honesty, a bit of a nightmare second half of the second cost Gifu a game they really should have won. Gifu took the lead in the 14th minute through a very unlikely source. Keiji Takchi’s free kick found Masanori Abe unmarked in the box, and he headed in to register his first J.League goal. It got better for Gifu not long after as a swift counter attack, led by the superb Ryoto Higa, ended in Junki Endo placing the ball past the Roasso keeper to make it 2-0 for his third of the season – and it was nothing less than Gifu deserved.
Endo nearly got another after the break, but his shot after a long run smacked the crossbar and from there things went rapidly downhill. Firstly, Ryoto Higa suffered what looked like a calf injury and had to be replaced. Higa is still learning his trade in the J.League but when he went off, Gifu missed his energy and his pace on the break. Then, with 13 minutes remaining, Takashi Sawada nipped in behind the Gifu defence, rounded Kawaguchi and slotted into the empty net. 2-1, but Gifu supporters got that all to familiar feeling that things weren’t safe – and so it turned out. Seichiro Maki squared things from close range in the 85th minute, and the sucker punch was delivered by Takuya Sonoda who smashed in Roasso’s winner in injury time.
Yet again, Gifu give up points at home. The team were roundly booed at the end, something that I can completely understand – but an issue I’ll do a further blog post on this week. At the end of the day, Gifu have a problem closing out games, and one that needs to be rectified. Is it mental? Physical? Emotional? Who knows. But it has happened too many times this year to be a coincidence.
Up next? Oh, only a trip to J1 new boys Shonan Bellmare…….