If last weekend was a successful one for both of Gifu’s clubs in the Japanese cup competition, then this one was a painful one.
Tokushima Vortis 1-0 FC Gifu Second
Despite a brave rearguard effort, FC Gifu Second fell to a late Rikuto Hirose goal at the Pocari Sweat Stadium in Naruto. The J2 side piled on the pressure from the off and bombarded the Seconds, but the defence stood firm. Getting to half time at 0-0 was a fine achievement for Ramos Junior’s men, but it looked like they were going to go one down when the hosts were awarded a penalty. Gifu native Tomohiro Tsuda stepped up to take it, but Second ‘keeper Toshihito Adachi went down low to his left to save, and the ball cleared to safety.
It looked like the game would go to extra time, but Hirose popped up with the winner in the 85th minute to break the Seconds’ hearts.
Ramos junior can be rightly proud of his charges, and now he can lead them in the Japan amateur championship, which starts soon.
JEF United Chiba 1-0 FC Gifu
The top team suffered the same fate as their little brothers, although they can feel slightly aggrieved to be on the losing side. It was a stronger team than the one which faced KGU last week, although Hiroaki Namba & Keiji Takachi were still on the bench as Junki Endo & Leo Mineiro led Gifu’s front line, and Gilsinho made his first start for the club.
At the end of a fairly even first half, Riki Matsuda put the hosts ahead when the ball rebounded off the crossbar and literally hit him a yard out, and the ball rolled in. Gifu attacked in the second half, and came closest when Namba, Leo & Higa all had efforts blocked in a goalmouth scramble, and Leo also flashed a shot over the bar.
Unfortunately, Gifu couldn’t find an equalizer and bowed out of the Tennouhai at the second round stage