Tokyo Verdy 4-3 FC Gifu

Good grief…..the scoreline suggests a dramatic game but that doesn’t even tell half the story. This was a game that will live long in the annals of J2.

FC Gifu starting XI: Kawaguchi, Abe, Takagi, Okane, Nogaito, Masuyama, Henik, Takachi, Kiyomoto, Rodrigo, Namba

I’m just going to go through the game in bullet points. It is too hard to get my head around all the stuff that happened otherwise.

14th minute – A cross from the left from Kiyomoto was bound for Rodrigo, but he was wrestled down by a Verdy defender resulting in a clear penalty. Hiroaki Namba confidently dispatched the penalty to Gifu 1-0 up.

19th minute – Tsukasa Masuyama intercepts a Kenta Misao pass just inside the Verdy half, releases Namba and he coolly slots past Yuya Sato in the Verdy goal to make it 2-0 to FC Gifu

27th minute – Hiroaki Namba grabs his hat-trick when he steals in at the front post to bundle in a low Keiji Takachi cross.

After that, nothing much happened for a while. Takachi, Namba & Rodrigo were replaced with the thinking that the team would just be able to see out the match. Well……

84th minute – Verdy grab themselves what looks like consolation goal when Kazuki Hiramoto followed up Alan Pinheiro’s shot which came off the post.

86th minute – Masaaki Chugo curls in a beautiful free-kick from 25 yards, right into the top corner. Verdy smell blood, and they believe they can get something out of the game.

92nd minute – Ryuji Sugimoto gets on the end of an Alan Pinheiro cross to head in Verdy’s equalizer. FC Gifu marking was non-existent.

95th minute – Kazuki Hiramoto somehow finds himself all alone on the edge of the six yard area where he bundles in a cross from the right.

Full time: Tokyo Verdy 4-3 FC Gifu


What happened?

  • FC Gifu continued from where they left off against Cerezo Osaka, pressing well and going more direct. Hiroaki Namba was the beneficiary of fine pressing/high tempo play by Masuyama & Kiyomoto in particular. When Namba, Takachi & Rodrigo came off, Gifu didn’t know how to keep their composure. We’ve seen Gifu lose leads in quick time before, but nothing this dramatic.

Where do we go from here?

  • That is a very good question. Defeats, you can deal with. Capitulations are another thing altogether, and you wonder what kind of effect this will have on the morale of the squad. Gifu have now lost 6 out of 7  this year – something isn’t right, that much is clear. The players change, the formation changes – but the results don’t.

Who’s up next?

  • Next Sunday, Gifu host another team that has won just just once – Tochigi SC. They are also coming off a loss where they conceded four goals (they lost 4-2 at home to Giravanz Kitakyushu). Gifu need a win. Not just to get themselves off the bottom of the league, but to get the supporters back onside. We need something to rally around, we need signs that things are going to get better.

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