FC Gifu 3-1 Kamatamare Sanuki
The start of the Ramos era began with an entertaining 3-1 win against the league newcomers. In all honesty, it wasn’t the best performance of the year, but it was highlighted by a sensational Nazarit free-kick that was sandwiched by goals from fellow newcomers Hiroaki Namba & Keiji Takachi.
Gifu held on despite conceding a goal to Kazuki Ganaha. It seems such a long time ago now. The season looked so positive at that point.
Tokyo Verdy 0-1 FC Gifu
Ramos went back to his old stomping ground and emerged victorious in a showdown with Tokyo Verdy. Hiroaki Namba scored the only goal of the game to give Gifu a famous win at the then soon-to-be-demolished Kokuritsu national stadium.
FC Gifu 2-2 Fagiano Okayama
A game that while Gifu didn’t win, it was possibly the most exciting game I’d seen at Nagaragawa. Fagiano, serious play-off contenders at the time, blazed into a two goal lead, but this was the Nazarit show.
Just before half time he powered home a header from a perfect Shuto Tanaka cross. In the second half, he smashed a penalty so hard against the bar that the ball landed 35 yards away from goal, but the big Colombian wasn’t to be denied and he grabbed the equalizer he performance so thoroughly deserved. Gifu had a goal not allowed because the linesman didn’t see that the ball crossed the line, while Kota Ueda hit a free-kick against the bar for Fagiano but this game was all about Naza. It was quite possibly the best individual performance I’ve ever seen from an FC Gifu player.
FC Gifu 4-3 Ehime FC
This game nearly didn’t go ahead due to a typhoon, but the game was given the go-ahead at 4pm in readiness for the 7pm KO. Gifu completely dominated the first half, deservedly taking the lead through Henik’s first ever J.League goal. But, somehow Ehime plundered two goals just before half-time to find themselves 2-1 up. The sense of confusion was immense, and that only grew as Ricardo Lobo scored a penalty to put Ehime 3-1 up, something that I and most other people simply couldn’t comprehend.
As the rain started to teem down, Gifu got back to work. 15 minutes from the end, Tsukasa Masuyama pulled one back before Henik scored his second after picking up a rebound from a Keisuke Ota long range shot. As the clocked ticked into additional time, Junki Endo was brought down in the area and Nazarit showed nerves of steel to smash the ball past Kodama to give Gifu an unlikely 4-3. Truly breathless stuff.
Over to you. What is your game of the season. Vote below: