Press conference after the match against Shanghai SIPG F. C.  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the AFC Champions League 2019 Quarter-Final 1st leg match against Shanghai SIPG F.C.

We finished the first leg match with the result to 2 to 2. We were penalized by two penalty kicks today. The referee who penalized us with the two penalty kicks today actually did the same two years ago when our team played against Shanghai SIPG in our home Saitama Stadium. This means we were penalized by four penalty kicks in total. We cannot help what had happened today but we discussed before the match that we had to be careful of these. Nonetheless, this had happened to us.

The match progressed to our advantage after we scored two goals at an early stage of the match. However, I felt a strong determination from the Shanghai SIPG players that they would not finish the match with that result. We want to work hard when we go back to our home.

Questions and Answers

Q: Your opponent team changed their style during the second half of the match. Do you think there were things that Urawa Reds should have done during that time? Please also tell us your intention as to why you put Shibato in the team?

A: Shanghai SIPG changed their formation but this was something we had anticipated. We had seen some tactical maneuvers even before the match. Our opponent team started the match with a five-back formation but they had a four-back system during warm ups. There were many tactical maneuvers during the match too. We checked the matches Shanghai SIPG played in the Chinese league in the past and we had anticipated that they would change their system like they did today. We had prepared ourselves for these types of scenarios. It was a pity that they scored the goal as they did today after they changed their formation.

As for Shibato, I put him in the team in order to respond to our opponent team’s formation change.

Q: Urawa Reds played four matches against Shanghai SIPG in the AFC Champions League two years ago. What do you think of their performance in comparison to two years ago? Can you give us some comment about Shanghai SIPG?

A: I saw the matches Urawa Reds played against them two years ago. However, it is difficult for me to give some comment as I wasn’t part of the coaching staff at that time. But, having played against them today, I can say that they are such a good team.

Q: You mentioned about two penalty kicks earlier. Are you suggesting that the team had today’s result because of the referee’s call?

A: Regardless how those goals were scored, you cannot changed the fact that they scored two goals today. We finished the match with the result of 2 to 2 and our opponent scored their two goals from penalty kicks. The referee wasn’t the one who gave us the final score. This is what happens when playing soccer and this is something we cannot help. I am not suggesting that the referee played any part in the final result. All I am saying is that the two goals our opponent scored were from penalty kicks.

Q: Your team finished the match with a draw of 2 to 2. Do you think this is a fair result to your team?

A: This is the result we got today. But, we are still halfway through. What’s important for us is the outcome after the second leg match. We want to continue to work hard for the next match.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Press conference after the match against Shanghai SIPG F. C.