So, it has been a busy time for me personally, that’s why I haven’t had a chance to update the blog for a while. Hopefully in the next couple of days I can put a few thoughts down. In this post, I’m going to recap the last few games.
June 19th – Yokohama FC 1-2 FC Gifu
Gifu went behind in this one when Kazuyoshi Miura, yes the 49 year old “King” Kazuyoshi Miura, found space in the area to head past Yoshinari Takagi and become the oldest professional goalscorer (in Japan definitely, possibly in the world).
The first half was one of the worst Gifu performances I’ve seen. It was bad. No cohesion, no plan and no substance. Koya Kazama came off the bench at half time and changed the game. His presence instilled confidence in the system – ostensibly a 4-2-3-1 – and he added quality to Gifu’s go forward. Leo Mineiro was the matchwinner with two second half goals, but it was the decision to bring on Kazama that swung the game Gifu’s way.
June 26th – FC Gifu 2-3 Roasso Kumamoto
An epic, topsy turvy game. Kumamoto went ahead just before half time, but Gifu once again fought back & played better in the second half. Gifu equalized when Masaya Tashiro somehow squeezed in a volley from a tight angle to register his first professional goal, but looked deflated when Kumamoto scored what appeared to be the winner in the 88th minute. Drama was to follow (understatement alert) when Ryo Takiya smashed in an equalizer in the 93rd minute, only for Kim Tae Yeon to score a sensational last kick winner.
It was unbelievable, but as was put to me after the game not something that we haven’t seen before – especially at home. There just seems to be something about playing at home which makes Gifu susceptible to these kinds of collapses. Mental? Technical? Emotional? Probably a mix of all of these reasons, but as gut wrenching as it was, it was something that all Gifu supporters should have been ready for.
Gifu players down as the referee blows the final whistle
July 3rd – FC Gifu 0-1 Kyoto Sanga
Promotion chasing Kyoto Sanga secured a vital win for them, and condemned Gifu to an eighth home defeat of 2016 when the sides met on a monsoony style day. A couple of hours prior to kick off, Gifu was hit by a biblical rainstorm which flooded the pitch in a matter of minutes, and which affected the game throughout. A fairly even first half, one in which Leo Mineiro hit the post and nearly set up a tap in for Ryo Takiya, seemed to augur well for Gifu who have a habit of playing their best stuff in the second half. But Kyoto brought on Daniel Lovinho to liven their play up, and he scored the winning goalin the 54th minute when he slotted past Takagi after being put clean through.
Gifu didn’t really look like getting back into it, and had to face up to the fact that, with this defeat, they had lost their last five home games.
July 10th – V-Varen Nagasaki 2-1 FC Gifu
Back at the beginning of June, Ryo Nagai scored a first half hat-trick to propel Nagasaki to a 4-2 win the Nagaragawa Memorial Centre, and he was back in familiar goalscoring territory in this game.
Gifu actually took the lead when Tatsuya Tanaka picked the ball up on the half way line and used his blazing speed to burn past Nagasaki defenders and put the ball past the keeper and into the net. It was the popular Tanaka’s first goal for the club, but unfortunately it didn’t spur much positive reaction. Ryo Nagai leveled things in the 33rd minute, before delivering his hammer blow in the 52nd minute. Nagai has scored 10 goals this year, exactly half of them have come against Gifu.