Match against Vissel Kobe-winning the match coming from behind to be now top of the B group in the rankings  

Urawa Reds won the match against Vissel Kobe with the score of 3 to 1 coming from behind. The team first caught up to their opponent with Naohiro Takahara’s first goal for this season. Then, Yuki Abe scored the second goal, which makes a goal scored by him in three consecutive matches now. Edmilson scored the third goal to deliver the final blow! The team scored the three goals during the second half of the match alone.
The Yamazaki Nabisco Cup qualifying round second sec match against Vissel Kobe started with a kick off at 7 pm on Wednesday, 14 April at the Homes Stadium Kobe in cold weather.

Sanou joined the team as a starting line up member for the first time as left side back player. Spiranovic was also a starting line up member for the second time since he played in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup first qualifying round against Jubilo Iwata. Having Ponte and Edmilson in the team as well was the first time for the Reds to have four foreign players as starting line up members. As for the goal keeper, Nobuhiro Kato guarded the goal just like he did during the first qualifying round match.

After both teams spend a few minutes checking on each other, the Reds started to make an attack first. At 7 minutes into the match, Shunki Takahara attempted to score a goal by aiming for a narrow empty strip of space from the front of the goal. However, his right footed shot veered slightly off to the left. At 15 minutes into the game, Edmilson also attempted a loop shot without success. After that, the team experienced a vicious circle of having the ball in possession and losing it for sometime. At 17 minute into the match, two center back players made a coordination mistake right in front of the goal. The team lost the momentum after that and the flow of the match tuned into a negative one.The team faced a series of difficult moments especially after 40 minutes into the game. The ball Kato shot hit an opponent player and the team nearly lost the goal.

During half time, Team Manager Finke instructed the team to make some corrections to their offensive and defensive strategies. This helped the team and the team worked on the strategy of attacking the opponent by controlling the ball through one touch passes. At 58 minutes into the match, Sanou and Yosuke Kashiwagi broke away from the defense with their one-two passes and this brought a good momentum back to the team. However, there was a big trap at 59 minutes. The team lost the ball in the mid field while back passing and Kobe’s Popo shot the first goal of the match into the back of the defense line as soon as they took the ball from the Reds.

However, the loss of the goal ignited the Reds offensive. Takahara was introduced to the team three minutes after the team lost the goal. At 66 minutes into the game, the team caught up with their opponent when Takahara scored a goal by taking advantage of a mistake the opponent team made. Urawa Reds owned the game completely from then onwards. At 74 minutes into the match, Abe fired a direct volley shot with his right foot after receiving the ball from Kashiwagi in the penalty area. The grounder ball shot went into the left corner of the goal and the team led the match. At 88 minutes into the match, Edmilson scored another goal with his right foot after receiving the ball from Satoshi Horinouchi who joined the team from mid-way.

As for the goal keeping, Kato blocked two shots during injury time and let out a shout of joy. Urawa Reds won another official match to make it their third consecutive victory. It has been 5 years since 4 May 2005 that the Reds last won a match they played in the Homes Stadium. Now, the team is at the top in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup qualifying round with the result of one win and one draw with four points.

The team will next play the J. League seventh sec match against Kawasaki Frontale from 4 pm on Sunday 18 April in the Saitama Stadium.

[Comments made after the match]
Comment from Nobuhisa Yamada
During the first half of the match, we struggled to build up the game as our opponent was trying to take control in the front line. However, as I did not think that our opponent was able to press the game, I decided to hold on. I thought that the distance between the front and the back was too wide during the first half. My coordination with Spiranovic is fine. I understand what we have to do as a team. It was great that we won the match today.

Comment from Yuki Abe
(You made an excellent direct shot.) Though it was possible to trap the ball, as it bounded to the position more suitable for a direct shot, I decided to kick the ball towards the outside with a little curb. I was glad that the ball shot the spot I aimed at. But, that was all for today.
During the first half of the match, there were several moments when our side pass ball was taken by our opponent. I also made several mistakes and could not coordinate well with my team at times. However, I was conscious about doing what I had to do right. I think things got better as we played the game.
(What do you think of scoring a goal in three consecutive matches?) This was the first time for me to do so since I started to play in the Reds. This happened by chance. Please just regard it that way.
(You score many goals.) This is because I play in such a position and I am just lucky by chance. Please regard it that way. This sounds more like me (lol). I have never played in so many consecutive matches since 2007. When I played in several matches in a row for JEF United Ichihara Chiba, I had practice matches between official matches. So, I felt a different kind of nervousness and pressure this time. However, as I am used to this type of play cycle, I am coping fine so far.

Comment from Edmilson
During the build up of the match in the first half, since the distance between our players was too wide, we tried to rectify this very point during the second half. I am glad we were able to fix this problem.
(What do you think of the goal you scored?) Because I was where I was and unmarked, I expected to receive the ball from Horinouchi. I was glad that I made the most of this opportunity. Our victory was almost guaranteed after the goal I scored, but our goal keeper Nobuhiro Kato put the icing on the cake after blocking two penalty kicks during injury time. I think everyone fulfilled their roles from the forward players right through to the goal keeper.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

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