Yokohama FC became the second Kanto area team in the last four days to do the double over Gifu as they overcame the home in a painful game on Sunday evening, a game which saw Gifu fall to the bottom of the table.
FC Gifu starting XI: Ota, Abe, Takagi, Watanabe, Fuji, Henik, Takachi, Ono, Rodrigo, Kazama, Namba
The big news for Gifu was that defender Masaki Watanabe and midfielder Koya Kazama made their debuts after arriving on loan last week. Elsewhere, 12 goal striker Hiroaki Namba came back into the starting line up after being on the bench for Wednesday’s game against Tokyo Verdy.
It was a pretty even opening period with Rodrigo coming close for Gifu, but his shot went just wide of Yuto Minami’s post. At the other end, Gakuji Ota had to be strong to turn away a free kick, and a Tetsuya Okubo header.
But he was powerless to do anything to prevent Yokohama taking the lead in the 29th minute. A long ball was flicked on by Tetsuya Okubo into the path of Junki Koike, and he finished expertly past Ota, shooting across Gakuji and into the far corner.
At half time, Ramos brought on Taisuke Mizuno for Yuto Ono. During the second half, Gifu tried to get back into the game and had a couple of good chances to do so. First of all, Rodrigo had a shot that was deflected into the path of Namba, but NMB24 could direct his effort past Minami. Namba had an even better chance later on, but his close range effort from Kazama’s flick on went over the bar. Yokohama could have wrapped it up through Okubo, but his shot, after great work down the right from Koike, went wildly over the bar.
As it was, it didn’t really matter as the visitors saw out the game and headed back to the port city with all three points.
This was a damaging defeat in more ways that one for Gifu. Firstly, they fell to the bottom of the league and while it is still close down there, psychologically it must be a terrible feeling. Secondly, there were signs of discord between players and supporters at full time, a situation that won’t help anyone (although it must be said that the “discussion” between Keiji Takachi and the core supporters ended reasonably amicably. Thirdly, it was another home defeat in front of a big crowd – over 7,500. Gifu need these supporters to comeback, and if they don’t see anything to get excited about, the chances are that they won’t come back too often.
Next up, Gifu make the very difficult trip to face 3rd placed Zweigen Kanazawa. Things could get worse before they get better……and that isn’t a pretty thought.