FC Gifu starting XI: Ota, Abe, Takagi, Watanabe, Fuji, Henik, Mizuno, Takachi, Masuyama, Kazama, Namba.
Omiya started the game better than Gifu and they took the lead in the 8th minute. A cross from the impressive Shigeru Yokotani was met by Tomonobu Yokoyama, and he powered his header low past Gakuji Ota after getting between two Gifu defenders.
After this, Gifu got themselves back into the game and their crisp passing in and around the penalty caused Omiya problems, but they couldn’t finish off two gilt-edged chances that came their way. Firstly, Yuki Fuji burst forward from the left and when his pass was cleverly dummied by Namba, the ball fell to Koya Kazama but his shot produced a stunning reflex save by Ardija ‘keeper Kato. After this, Tsukasa Masuyama found himself one on one with Kato, but he screwed his shot wide – it looked like he though he was offside, but that is no excuse. It was a bad miss. Kazama then forced Kato into yet another save, this time from a free kick, before Omiya delivered a double sucker punch just before half time.
Yokoyama scored from another header, but one that could and should have been dealt with if Miyazawa, on for the injured Taisuke Mizuno, had stayed on the post. And then a minute later, a crisp passing move saw Dragan Mrdja through on goal and he smacked the ball past Ota to effectively seal the game before half time.
Cruel is possibly the wrong word, but Gifu were the better side during a lot of the first half, but the inability to take chances that were presented to them (something I went through in my match preview) really bit them hard.
The second half was always going to be a case of trying to limit the damage, but that proved to be too difficult as a scrambled effort from centre back Shunsuke Fukuda and a classy goal from Akihiro Ienaga embellished the scoreline for the hosts.
Goals change games; Omiya ruthlessly took their chances, Gifu did the very opposite. And that is why the two teams sit at the very opposite ends of the table. Gifu were unlucky to lose Taisuke Mizuno, who was performing well in the centre of midfield. When he went off, Gifu lost some of the quick passing that he was instrumental in. Yuki Fuji also picked up an injury, but Mizuno’s seems the more serious one. Hopefully I’ll get updates this week.
Did Gifu deserve to lose 5-0? I don’t think so, but they did and they have to cop it and deal with the fall out. Good luck to Omiya, for they are surely already looking at J1. Next for Gifu? A huge match at Thespa Kusatsu Gunma next Saturday evening.