Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Sagan Tosu  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 14th Sec match against Sagan Tosu

I had witnessed again today what has repeatably been happening since four matches ago and this became very clear today. What I mean by this is that only one team was waging attacks on the pitch. While one team was trying to score goals, the other was trying not to lose any goals. Our team was able to attempt scoring a goal only once today and we only had one defense corner kick. As for our goal keeper, there was no need for him to perform his role as a goal keeper as he was more like an observer of the match today.

Another thing I noticed since coming back to Japan is that referees don’t blow their whistles often. When this is the case, the match becomes in favor of those teams that like to play a defensive match. As we want to play soccer not rugby, things become more difficult for us to play. When a team is playing an offensive game and it is stopped as a result of a foul play, it should lead to a free kick, otherwise, the match will become unfavorable to that team.

When we played against Kashima Antlers, our team lost the match as a result of a little arguable penalty kick. During today’s match, Hashioka was grabbed by his arm in the penalty area and there was an obvious hold. However, no whistle was blown. Following that, Kashiwagi also experienced the same scenario but again no whistle was blown.

Questions and Answers
Q: Urawa Reds players created a few good opportunities in front of the goal today. What do you think they need to do to follow through on those opportunities they create in order to score goals?

A: I think they didn’t have enough of the required strength to follow through in front of the goal. I think we need to wait until August in order for our team to regain enough strength back. This is because the player who can bring the power to our team sustained an injury during the match against Kawasaki Frontale and is currently unable to play any matches. This current situation poses a difficult challenge for me.

Q: Just before half time started, there was a squabble at the players’ entrance gate. Did this have anything to do with what you have commented on about today’s match?

A: The squabble happened as a result of some misunderstanding. As this was the case, I had apologized to Sagan Tosu’s team manager after the match. The quarrel was a result of a simple misunderstanding and did not stem from a big issue.

Q: What was the nature of the misunderstanding?

A: After I made a complaint to the referee, Sagan Tosu’s team manager went to talk to the fourth referee. As I thought he was making a comment about myself, I had a little reaction against his action. However, I learnt that this was not the case. For this reason, I went to talk to him to express my apology. What happened was that the referees hadn’t blown whistles for, what I thought was, foul plays by our opponent players for performing several sliding tackles. However, when our team player did the same thing only once, they blew a whistle today. For this reason, I made a complaint and the squabble happened after that.

Q: In comparison to the past, what do you think of the quality of referees in Japan? Do you think it has improved or got rather worse?

A: I am afraid that the quality might have been higher in the past. This is because the standard of determining what is a foul play has changed. Even when a very harsh, malicious foul play is performed, it does not necessary lead to a free kick. When this is the case, it becomes more beneficial for those teams who like to play a defensive match. However, when a team with good skills is keen to play an offensive match, it becomes very difficult for them as their play is cut into chunks. When this is the case, a team with more physical strength will outplay a team with better skills.

To be honest, I don’t wish to make any comment about referees. I trust our players have been playing a few matches without being issued yellow cards. This is because we are trying to play soccer with the ball in our possession. I have commented on referees as this type of soccer seems to be inhibited under the current circumstance.
[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Sagan Tosu