Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Gamba Osaka  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 2nd Stage 14th Sec match against Gamba Osaka

Any match played between two Japanese leading soccer teams, Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka is regarded as a big and interesting match and always attracts lots of public attention.

Our team was not able to have a good start to the match. I believe this was because we couldn’t commence the match as we planned. We lost a goal in an unfortunate way as our team struggled to settle into the match. I bet the opponent team player Hiroyuki Abe who scored the goal would even say that it was lucky that the ball he kicked made a shot on goal if we ask. While it was a very lucky goal for our opponent team, it was very unfortunate for us that this happened.

I think having struggled at the start of the match and losing the first goal made the match difficult for us today. Having said that, our team had gradually managed to play our style of soccer as time passed. Our team was able to create a few good opportunities from the side and the center of the pitch.

As for the second half of the match, our team had controlled the match and took the offensive by pressing our opponent players. However, the fact that we lost another goal from a set play was utterly unfortunate and we find it difficult to explain why this had happened. But, other than that, I don’t think our team allowed hardly any chances to our opponent.

Even when the result was zero to two, our players had a very strong determination and stamina and created many scoring opportunities by pressing Gamba Osaka players while they retreated back to their side of the field to defend themselves. I was glad to see our players’ strong determination during the second half of the match too.

As for the scoring opportunities Gamba Osaka created, I believe it was only once when the ball they kicked hit the goal post. However, the final result of the match was as you saw it. Nevertheless, we had created many good opportunities by gaining momentum.

I prefer not to talk about referees during a press conference and this is especially the case after our team lost the match as it may sound as though I am trying to make an excuse. With regard to the handball our player Koroki was called during our team’s attempt of a counter attack, the assistant referee called the handball and the chief referee confirmed the call, which I believe was the right call for Gamba.

On the contrary, there was a moment when the hand of one of the opponent players touched the ball in the penalty area when we were trying to make an attack. From our side, it was clearly recognized that it was the case and I thought that the assistant referee also saw what had happened. However, the assistant referee didn’t call a foul to the chief referee.

Whether this was a foul or not is something for everyone to decide but I thought it was necessary for me to comment on how matches are refereed as referees’ judgement calls will affect match results. This is important as we work hard to win.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Gamba Osaka