Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Shanghai SIPG F.C.  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the ACL Group Stage MD4 match against Shanghai SIPG F.C.

We had an amazing match today where both teams played neck and neck and had created many opportunities.

During the second half of the match, our players started to lose momentum and had been pressed by our opponent players several times. As a result, we had allowed our opponent the opportunity for two penalty kicks. However, our team was able to keep themselves in the lead and had finished the match as a winning team.

Having had the opportunity to play against Shanghai SIPG F.C. as well as many Chinese teams through practice matches and ACL matches over the past 12 years as a team manager of Japanese soccer teams, I have learnt that Shanghai SIPG F.C. is tactfully the most organized team in China. Through my past observations, I had thought that it would be very difficult to train Chinese players to follow rules and their team’s tactics. However, I found today that Chinese players are also disciplined and follow their tactics to pull out high quality performances. Amongst such Chinese players, foreign players such as Oscar, Odil Ahmedov, Elkeson and Hulk performed by following rules and understanding their team’s tactics when they were playing for the team. In this sense, they were truly a fantastic team.

Certainly, many regard us being lucky as we won the match as a result of our opponent team not being able to nail the two penalty kick opportunities they were presented with. However, my long soccer career experience taught me that luck is something we must pull towards ourselves by ourselves. This is not something given to us automatically. During our away match against Shanghai SIPG F.C., we lost our first goal against them in an unfortunate manner and lost the second goal as a result of us making a mistake. Whereas, our team won the match today even though we had allowed two penalty kick opportunities to our opponent team since the first kick was intercepted by our player and the second one was missed by our opponent team player. We could say we were lucky in this sense. However, I believe we have brought such luck upon us as a result of our players working hard to play a good match.

I think it is fair to say that Urawa Reds will almost certainly be able to move to the next stage. I regard today’s victory an important victory for Urawa Reds to move forward positively in the upcoming J. League and ACL matches.

I hope to see the both teams play against each other again in the knock out stage. I also hope sincerely that both great and aggressive teams will rise back again so that we can play against each other in the near future.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Shanghai SIPG F.C.