Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Kawasaki Frontale  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 1st Stage 5th Sec match against Kawasaki Frontale

As you know, our team had never won a match we played in the Todoroki Stadium. I told our players and we discussed before the match today that we would start a new history in the new Todoroki Stadium after the recent completion of its refurbishment.

In comparison to our past matches here at Trodoki Stadium, our team’s performance was much better during today’s match. In the past, our team always lost against Kawasaki even though we outperformed them. Our team repeated the mistake of allowing Kawasaki to wage counter attacks against us even when we were playing offensively by controlling the matches with the ball in our possession. By learning from the past mistakes, we tried to make our opponent players retreat to the half-line rather than pressing them hard from the front this time. We aimed to make counter attacks against them by stealing the ball after waiting for them to make attacks against us. I trust that our team managed to perform as we aimed to some extent during the first half of the match today.

Had we been able to increase the precision of our performance after we had the ball in our possession, I guess our team would have been able to score a goal or two. During the first half, our team did not create any chances for Kawasaki players to wage counter attacks against us and did not allow any space for Kawasaki players such as Renato and Okubo. However, Kawasaki’s left side defender Kurumaya broke through from the right side, which led Kawasaki Frontale to score the first goal. As for the second half of the match, our team had to press our opponent team more from the front and I told the team to play more aggressively as we were losing the match. I believe our players performed as they intended to.

Seeing our team players’ performance as their team manager, I was surprised that they outperformed our opponent team players in stamina and aggressiveness during the second half and denied our opponent team to create many scoring opportunities despite the fact that the match was the tenth match our team played over the last seven weeks. In the past, our team often received counter attacks after they came forward. However, our team players were able to play the match under their control to some degree during today’s match. I felt that their strong determination to win the match also helped the team to finish the match with a draw today.

Though both teams finished the match with one point by drawing the match today, looking at the overall match, I had the impression that our team’s performance was closer to gaining three points. Our team faced several issues last season. We also had to play a match without any spectators last year for the first time in Japan. In this context, I have been feeling such great support extended by our supporters during our past matches against Montedio Yamagata, Matsumoto Yamaga FC and Beijing Guoan. I feel grateful for our supporters creating a fantastic atmosphere at the stadium and pushing us forward in the right direction by showing their understanding to our team’s battles. Today was no exception and our supporters cheered our players until the last moment. I would like to express our sincere thanks to our supporters for all their efforts. Thank you.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Kawasaki Frontale