Match against Kawasaki Frontale - clear win in the home match marks the fourth consecutive victory for the team, which puts the team at the top in the rankings  

The J1 League seventh sec. was held on 18 April and Urawa Reds played a home match against Kawasaki Frontale in Saitama Stadium. The Reds had not won against Frontale since 2006. Prior to the match, the Reds ranked second and the Frontale ranked third in the J. League standing. As it was a match played by two top teams, it was one that the Reds definitely hoped to win.
When players entered the stadium, the Reds supporters held a Reds’ uniform flag behind the goal area. As the Reds’ supporters cheering intensified, the match started at 4:03 pm with a Reds’ kick off.

There was already a development after 7 minutes into the match. Ponte blocked the opponent’s ball that was kicked into a clear space in the right side of the penalty area. The ball flew to the center penalty arc area. Hosogai trapped the ball with his chest and kicked the ball quickly into the goal with his left foot. The team scored the first goal as a result. One minute after that, Edmilson and Tatsuya broke away from the opponent players near the half way line by playing one-two and Tatsuya ran towards the goal by dribbling the ball. He kicked the ball with his left foot in front of the penalty arc into the goal. The ball speared the upper right side of the goal and the team led the game with the score of 2 to 0. After that, Frontale started to strengthen their attacks. Kashiwagi and Ponte tried to block their attacks and went near the penalty area. Even though the Reds kept good defense and made several counter attacks for a while, they could not score any additional goals. At 21 minutes into the game, Kawasaki’s ball hit the goal net after a set play. However, it was ruled out as the referee said the goal was for offside. After 30 minutes into the match, Frontale started to slow down and there were many open spaces. The Reds took advantage of such situations and scored several corner kick opportunities, which helped the team to attempt additional goals. At 36 minutes in to the match, Abe took the ball from the opponent team in the mid field and passed it to Hirawaka. Then the ball was handled by Tatsuya and Kashiwagi who played on the right side. Kashiwagi dribbled the ball and then kicked it with his left foot into the right side of the goal area. Despite the fact that the ball was strongly kicked into the top right side of the goal, it hit the goal bar.

For the second half of the match, Frontale introduced Kengo Nakamura and Vitor Junior. At 9 minutes into the second half, the Reds allowed their opponent to break away from the block on the left side of the ground and gave their opponent a penalty kick opportunity. The penalty kick ball Renatinho kicked was blocked by Yamagishi with his right hand. The ball rebounded and an opponent player tried to attempt a goal. However, Yamagishi stood up quickly and tried to put pressure on the opponent by stepping forward. In the end, he defended the team at all costs. Right after that, Horinouchi was introduced to replace Kashiwagi. Horinouchi was positioned in the centre with Abe on the right and Hosogai on the left. The team tried to beef up the mid field in order to stop the momentum of their opponent team created by Nakamura and Renatinho. While the two teams were battling on the pitch, Tatsuya who was making a great contribution to the team with his abundant stamina had a cramp in his leg. As a result Takahara replaced him. Takahara stabilized the rhythm of the match with his calm performance while looking after the ball well. At 27 minutes into the second half, Takahara broke away from the persistent guarding of the opponent team near the left corner kick area and kicked the ball back. Though the ball was caught by an opponent player who was at the left side of the area, Edmilson stole the ball quickly and attempted to score a goal by kicking the ball across the goal with his right foot. The ball which flew into the lower right side of the goal was blocked by the goal keeper. However, Horinouchi caught the ball that bounced back and kicked it into the goal with his right foot. The team led the match with the score of 3 to 0.
Urawa Reds created many more chances after that. During the injury time, Edmilson attempted to score a goal after receiving the ball Horinouchi blocked. Sanou received the ball after that and attempted a loop shot. Though his ball shook the goal net, it was offside. After a while, the whistle ended the match and the Reds had a great victory with the score of 3 to 0. After the Reds players finished making their remarks, Saitama Stadium was filled with the voices of spectators calling out “we are Reds!” On the same day, the stadium had the 10 millionth official home match visitor. (The overall total was 10,001,7524 visitors).
Today’s match marked the 150th match the Reds won in the J1 League, and the win left the Reds’ record as 5 win, 1 draw and 1 loss so far this season. Since Shimizu S-Pluse drew the match they played the day before, Urawa Reds has surpassed S-Pluse with one extra point and has moved up to the top in the standing.

The team will next play the J. League eighth sec match against Jubilo Iwata from 4 pm on Saturday 24 April in the Saitama Stadium.

[Comments made after the match]
Comment from General Manager Koichi Hashiratani
Though the team went through many ups and downs, the team managed to be better over the few weeks. It was good to have the match against Kawasaki Frontale when the team was in better condition. Objectively speaking, we played a very interesting game throughout the 90 minute match. This was because Frontale was also a good and strong team. As a result, there were many moments when both team were playing in front of their goals. I thought that we played a type of match which our spectators could also enjoy. I thought it was a very good match for us as we were able to achieve the excellent result of 3 to 0. I am certain that everyone enjoyed our performance.
Everyone including those players who replaced some of the starting line up members, those who were on the bench, those who did not come to the stadium and practiced at home, managers, coaching staff members not to mention the eleven starting line up members is advancing in the right direction. Today’s good result was achieved because of this fact.

Comment from Hajime Hosogai
Though it was good that we scored several goals, I did not think we performed truly well. Since we have one week until our next match, I would like to practice hard for our next match. I was conscious about running around the pitch. However, my legs stopped in the end. I would like to practice more so that I can run around more effectively in the future.

As for the goal I scored, it was good that I was in the position where I could catch the rebounded ball. Since I managed to score a goal at an early stage, I thought it was a good goal for the team and not to mention for me. I was hoping to catch the rebounded ball as a defensive mid fielder. Players who were on the front line as well as behind me were also telling me to get the rebounded ball.
Since we have some time to practice until our next match, I would like to focus on improving our condition rather than maintaining it. It is a positive development for us to be ranked at the top. However, it has not sunk in yet. I would like to prepare myself well for the next match.

Comment from Satoshi Horinouchi
Since I joined the team, we have had three defensive mid fielders. Because there were three of us, I was trying to be flexible. I also felt that two other players would protect the team well if I moved forward. I decided that I would move around more than the other two who were worn out.

As for the goal I scored, as Edmilson was moving towards the goal, I ran forward thinking that I could score a goal if I could pick up and kick the ball when the goal keeper blocked the ball. Though we rank at the top, we still need to perform well next week. Although we still have many other challenges, we will be alright if we can continue to score 3 points as we did today. If we keep performing well, I believe that many more of our supporters will come to the stadium. I thought we played really well on this occasion.

(Defensive mid-fielders have been scoring points.) We aspire to score goals no matter what position we are in. Usually, we have two defensive mid-fielders. Since either one of us can move forward to the front line, this must be the reason why we continue to score goals.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Go to match report
Go to the comment from Team Manager Finke after the match