【English Report】FC Gifu vs Ehime FC by Stuart Smith
FC Gifu ended their long winless home run with a crucial 2-0 win against Ehime FC, by Stuart Smith.
Before the game, Super Girls! Member and FC Gifu ambassador Shiori Nagao threw out packs of candy in a Halloween giveaway. Another club ambassador, ex-player Hiroaki Namba, also participated in it. Shiori came dressed as the popular character from “Where’s Wally?” Other members of the FC Gifu playing staff also came along to give the sweets away.
Also before the game, our players helped collect donations in order to help those affected by Typhoon 19, a typhoon that devastated parts of Chiba, Ibaraki, Fukushima and Nagano prefectures. Pictured is Gifu midfielder Yushi Nagashima collecting donations from supporters.
Gifu’s Triple G cheerleaders were in the Halloween mood as they dressed up in costume - some cute, some scary, but all excellent - and did their usual pre-game performances.
Right now there is a huge craft beer boom in Japan, and in the food court Kirin Beer set up their craft beer stand and enlisted the help of FC Gifu midfielder Shohei Mishima to help pour & serve the beers. Cheers!
At half time, Gifu’s annual Halloween costume parade took place, with mascot Giffy and Ehime counterpart Ore-kun taking part in it. The two mascots also played a game of table tennis - a game which didn’t go Gifu’s way....
And then, the game itself.
FC Gifu starting XI - Back (from left): Kai, Toma, Fujitani, Maeda, Sievers, Abe (c); Front (from left): Baba, Tsukagawa, Yanagisawa, Kawanishi, Takeda
After a first half in which Gifu goalkeeper Jan-Ole Sievers produced two excellent saves to keep the scores level, Gifu upped their pace in second half and took the lead in the 65th minute when defender Takefumi Toma prodded the ball in after it fell to him in the penalty area. Ten minutes from the end, Kou Yanagisawa was brought down in the Ehime penalty box, and Shota Kawanishi kept his cool to double the lead, and ensure Gifu their first home win since May.
Post game, manager Makoto Kitano said: “It has been a long time. I think everyone contributed to this win – players, staff and supporters. Especially the supporters, who have continued to back us despite being bottom of the league and watching us in difficult circumstances. I think we learned the lesson from our defeat in the last game in Yamagata, and we talked a lot during the week about how we needed to be absolutely on our game. We made some changes, but those changes were designed to make us more stable, and to take into account the style of football Ehime play.”
Goalscorer Takefumi Toma said: “I would have preferred my goal to have been more memorable!! I actually wasn’t sure if it had gone in, but luckily it did and I think it gave us the momentum to go on and win the game. Of course, not conceding in the first was the platform for us, and the second goal was so important because it gave us breathing space.”
Scorer of the second goal, Shota Kawanishi, told reporters: “This result came mainly from the support the defence & the midfield gave us attacking players. During the game, both (Takumi) Fujitani and (Kou) Yanagisawa always wanted to get forward, and when Junior Barros came it gave us an extra attacking outlet and I thought it would help us create more chances.”