“Painful draw despite spirited attack in last moment” against Yamagata  

The 3rd J.League game against Motedio Yamagata was held at ND Soft Stadium Yamagata on 21st March. Edmilson netted his first goal of the season by scoring an opening goal for Urawa Reds.

Although Reds went into the 2nd half a goal up, Reds allowed Yamagata to equalize in the 58th minute. The game ended in a draw, which gave Reds 4 points from 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss.

It was an unusually cold day for spring but both the players and supporters had passion in their hearts. The supporters cheered to the fullest. It rained before the start of the game but the rain gradually eased off as the kick-off time drew nearer.

The stadium was covered in red and blue. About 10,000 Reds supporters turned up cheering for the players. The players wore orange coloured silicon bracelets to show their support to Taishi Tsukamoto of Omiya Ardija who is currently fighting cancer. They entered to the stadium with determined faces.

At 1:04 pm, Montedio kicked off the match. Due to Tadaaki Hirakawa’s injury, Hajime Hosogai who has played as defensive midfielder in the last 2 games started in the right side back position. Defensive midfielder, Keita Suzuki, who made his first appearance for the team this season, wore the captain’s armband.

Reds were slowly passing the ball around and waiting for right moment to break while Montedio used all the field players to defend. Despite several attempts, Reds could not find the perfect ball between midfield and forward. However, the deadlock was broken in the 30th minute.

The build up to the goal started from Tomoya Ugajin who played in the left back position. Then, Tatsuya Tanaka and Hosogai attempted shots in front of the goal resulting in a corner kick from the right. From the corner, Reds continued with their attacks and in the 30th minute, Hosogai crossed from the by-line and Edmilson headed in to mark the first goal of the day.

Team Manager Finke substituted Tatsuya Tanaka with Sergio in the 2nd half with intention to score more goals. However, Reds let Montedio score in the 58th minute to tie the game. Both teams then took turns putting pressures on each other. Reds had a fair share of close calls and chances. In 79th minute, Naohiro Takahara who has scored 2 goals in the game against Montedio last season was sent in to replace Keita. The forward who was playing his first game this season added more pressure on Montedio.

In the 4 minutes of added time, Yuki Abe’s header rebounded off the crossbar. Reds never gave up till the very last moment but could not find the winning goal. When the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game, Reds players threw themselves onto the ground showing frustration with the result.

Reds will face Cerezo Osaka in the 4th J.League game. The game will be held at Osaka Nagai Stadium at 4 pm on 27th March.

【Comments after the game】
“My role was just to put in the ball as Hajime Hosogai gave me a good cross from the left. I hope I can score more goals from now on. I want the team to win with my goals and I want to play for the team.
Reds have only scored 2 goals from the 3 games so far, but I think the system itself remains the same. However, I can see improvements as we were able to create more chances today. I think the problem does not lie with our attack. 2 goals in total are not a lot but we want to continue in the same direction and have the same responsibility of scoring goals in our mind.”

Keita Suzuki
“In the 1st half, we were able to play Reds’ football and were very attacking. We were able to play close football. We did not have many chances to shoot because Motedio were defending well in front of the goal. I think the good point was our passes at the flanks. I think we were able to control the game to a certain extent.
However In the 2nd half, it was with great regret that we allowed them to score after we made a mistake. Compared to the 1st half, we had more chances to score but both teams were using the pitch too widely. As a result, Montedio started playing roughly.
We were all thinking of winning but unfortunately, we could not control the game just before Montedio scored the goal that changed the game.”

Keisuke Tsuboi
“I think we did not do badly in defence but I must admit that we had some problems when Montedio delivered crosses from left flank, which is their strong point.
I think my combination with Hosogai worked well. The attack was as usual. I cannot give a specific cause why we led them play up front after they scored a goal but there was time when I was playing while thinking something is wrong. I think we could have changed the flow if we had scored another goal.
When Montedio equalized, we did not get frustrated or try anything different. In fact, we had some chances where we could have scored the 2nd goal. The defenders including me trust the attackers so we just did our part.
It was shame we could not win this game even though we scored first. Although we have another away game ahead, I am not so worried. I want to play up to the supporters’ expectation.”

【Urawa Reds Official Media (URD : OM) 】