There must be comething that Ruy Ramos particularly likes about going to Kumamoto, because for the second year running FC Gifu came away from the city with all three points.

FC Gifu starting XI: Ota, Abe, Fukaya, Okane, Nogaito, Henik, Miyazawa, Takachi, Masuyama, Leo Mineiro Namba

The game was played away from Roasso’s usual Umakana stadium, and the pitch at the Suizenji Sports Park looked pretty bad. Roasso were first to threaten early on, but Kazuki Saito’s shot from 8 yards out went wide of Gakuji Ota’s post. To be honest, the first half was short on many things: excitement, quality, goalscoring chances to name a few. But the second half started quite the opposite.

Saito had been Roasso’s most dangerous entity, and his mazy run, coupled with some pretty average defending allowed him to snake into the box finish past Ota – with a little help from a Masanori Abe deflection. But it was only a minute before Gifu were level. Keiji Takachi’s free-kick from the left by centre-back Naoya Okane, and he powered his header into the net to bring the teams level. Roasso then went straight up the other end and when a long throw caused panic n the Gifu area, the ball fell to Saito again but his shot was straight at Ota.

In the 64th minute, Tsukasa Masuyama went for glory with a first time volley from a Namba cross but the ball went over the bar – it would have been a superb goal had it gone in.

The pivotal moment of the match came in the 81st minute when Gifu were awarded a penalty. Leo Mineiro tried an overhead kick in the area, but it was blocked by the hand of a Roasso defender, and it was a definite penalty. Hiroaki Namba stepped up and smashed the ball to the ‘keepers right to give Gifu a precious lead.

There were a few hairy moments from there until the finish, but Gifu held on and secured a win which moved them up to 18th place. Next up – just the small matter Omiya Ardija next Sunday night at the Nagaragawa Stadium.

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