Press conference after the match against Guangzhou Evergrande FC  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the AFC Champions League 2019 Semi-final 1st Leg Match against Guangzhou Evergrande FC

Comment from Tsuyoshi Otsuki

First of all, I would like to thank our fans and supporters who created a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium for us to play in today. I am also very grateful for our team members who pulled out a fantastic performance today. Having said that, our good performance doesn’t guarantee us to play in the final match. For this reason, we will do our best to play well in the second leg match. Since we still have some time before the second leg match, I would like to firstly focus on the next match and work hard again with our members to do well in that match.

Questions and Answers

Q: I would like to congratulate your team for not only the positive result but also for the wonderful performance today. I was under the impression before that in J. League matches, it was often the case with Urawa Reds players that they pulled out good performances and then suddenly toned down. However, with regard to the AFC Champions League matches, your team members have been consistently pulling out solid performances. What do you think makes the difference?

A: If you know the answer, tell me about it (lol). We are trying to tackle the challenges we face together, and we share our concerns with our players. What we are doing is something we can be proud of. As for the ACL, our players have a heightened motivation when playing in the ACL. Being able to feel the great atmosphere created in the stadium etc., they know that playing in the ACL arena is an incredible opportunity for them. However, this doesn’t mean that other matches they play are of lower importance. We regularly discuss this point with our players. For this reason, we would like to do well again in our next match over the weekend to continue with our good performance.

Q: During today’s match, Guangzhou Evergrande FC had a three-back formation. Did you anticipate this before the match today? Another question is, what did you think was important when playing in a match like this one in which your opponent members respect your team?

A: As for your first question, it was within the scope of our expectation. As for the second question, our players responded well by assessing the flow of the match today.

Q: During today’s match, Aoki moved to the back and Makino was positioned near the touch line. The team’s formation seemed to have had more focus on the left side. Please tell us about your intention to the extent you can.

A: I am sorry, but I would like to answer your question after we play the second leg match. I don’t wish to make any comment regarding your question today. My apologies.

Q: Since your team still needs to play the second leg match, I understand that you cannot celebrate today’s victorious result open handedly. But, your team delivered a great winning result for your fans and supporters after some time for an official match played in Saitama Stadium. Your team also won the match today without losing any goals as well. Could you please give us your frank comment about today’s outcome?

A: I feel a great responsibility to deliver a good match and a positive outcome when playing here in our home stadium. Our fans and supporters also recently have spurred us on to do well in our matches. I always want to respond positively to our fans and supporters for their passionate requests. I feel so grateful for them for creating such a great atmosphere for our team. As the second leg match is still waiting for us to play, we will do our best to make our fans and supporters happy again.

Comment from Takahiro Sekine

I am very pleased to receive the player of the match honor for the first time. When the ball came to my direction, I am glad that I was able to nail the opportunity, which contributed greatly to the team’s positive match result today. I feel we created a good advantage for ourselves for our next match. In order to make the most out of today’s match result, I would like to continue to play our style of soccer in our next match to get to the final stage.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Press conference after the match against Guangzhou Evergrande FC Press conference after the match against Guangzhou Evergrande FC