In a game of two halves (literally and figuratively), two of J2’s strugglers played a frustrating draw on a hot day in Gifu.
FC Gifu starting XI: Ota, Abe, Okane, Fukaya, Nogaito, Henik, Miyazawa, Masuyama, Takachi, Endo, Leo Mineiro
Gifu started the game well, pressing Kyoto all the time and they had already had a couple of openings before they took the lead in the eighth minute. The move started on the left with Leo Mineiro exchanging passes with Takachi, and Takachi went on to play a “double one-two” with Junki Endo and the young forward notched his first goal of the season by easily tapping in. Gifu kept up the pressure and nearly made it 2-0 when Leo Mineiro was sent through, but his prod past the keeper agonizingly came back off the post. At the other end, Sanga weren’t showing much, but Ota had to be alert to save a Masashi Oguro header.
Half time came, and Gifu were well worth their lead. But that was to change in the second half as Kyoto switched from their relatively passive first half formation and introduced Daniel Lovinho to partner Oguro up front. Kyoto pushed, pressed and battled much more in the second half and they grabbed the equalizer they deserved in the 65th minute. A free kick near the halfway line was taken quickly and the lofted through ball found Masashi Oguro and he clinically volleyed past Ota to make things all square.
Both sides tried to go for the winner, but it was Gifu that came closest when Leo Mineiro forced a fine save from Genki Yamada. Full time came, and the game finished 0-0 – a result that doesn’t really satisfy either team.
Gifu will feel they should have won, and the stats seem to back that feeling up. If they’d been more clinical in front of goal, they would have won – but they were shown a lesson by Oguro that when chances come you have to take them. Takachi was his usual excellent self and the goal will do Junki the world of good. (As a sidenote, Ramos didn’t look too happy with Endo when he came off, maybe he wasn’t satisfied with his overall performance?)
Gifu round off their Golden Week rush by hosting Ehime FC at home on Sunday night. A win would make it 7 points from a possible 12. That would be a decent return from the four fixtures. If they lose, it would be four points. Not as impressive. Another big game at the Nagaragawa……
- FC Gifu – 10
- Kyoto Sanga – 4
- FC Gifu – 2
- Kyoto Sanga – 3
- FC Gifu – 2
- Kyoto Sanga – 2