Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 19th sec match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo

Our players played the match with a strong determination to win. The match progressed neck-and-neck, though we lost the first goal from our opponent team’s corner kick. Following that, Makino received a red card which send him off the pitch. As a result, we needed to play the match with one less field player in our team.

Looking at how the match unfolded towards the end of the first half, I felt it would be possible for us to catch up with our opponent team and even to come from behind despite having one less player. I injected three fresh players for the second half of the match with a hope that it would create a new momentum for the team to catch up with our opponent and come from behind. However, right after the second half started, Nasu unfortunately sustained an injury which made him unable to continue to play. We had to play the rest of the match under such a condition.

Even though we had two less players, our team controlled the ball and created good opportunities to score goals. I have been in the soccer sphere for a long time but it is rare to see a team create as many scoring opportunities as our team did today with two less players on the pitch. Our players led the match calmly while having a very strong determination to win. It was unfortunate that the ball Zlatan shot hit the goal post and missed the goal narrowly. The scoring ball Endo kicked was also intercepted by the opponent team just in front of the goal line. As was evident by the good moves our team made such as when Zulatan and Sekine formed a two-to-one situation for a counter attack, our team controlled the ball to create good scoring opportunities despite the lack of two team players. Our players did very well today.

I don’t like to make any comment on referee judgments after the match ended but I felt today’s refereeing was a little unfavorable towards us. Our opponent goal keeper received a yellow card for taking too long to take a goal kick. But, he could have been issued with a few more yellow cards as he delayed taking goal kicks on several occasions while our team was playing the match with two less players. I don’t mean to make any excuses for today’s outcome but it was the impression I got regarding the refereeing today.

I must say it was not easy to seize victory as we had aimed to do today since we lost one field player from mid-way through the first half of the match and lost another one at the beginning of the second half. We faced a difficult situation today as the match unfolded like it did especially when we have been struggling to improve our condition and achieve good results over the recent few weeks. However, if we look down and give up, we can never move forward. It is painful that we lost the match today. However, we must embrace today’s defeat and move forward by rising to stand firmly.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo