Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Shimizu S-Pulse  

Comment from Team Manager Oliveira after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 9th sec match against Shimizu S-Pulse

We had a very difficult match. Many of the matches played in the J. League have been neck-and-neck matches this year. There are many tactical matches being played and I think many teams are developing a competitive clout.

During the first half of the match, both teams didn’t play much in the penalty areas. Shimizu S-Pulse waited for us in the midfield and were waiting for us to make mistakes to wage counter attacks against us. When our team players moved to the front, Shimzu players tried to make counter attacks forming three-on-three or three-on-two. Against such attacks, I thought our defense functioned well.

As for the second half of the match, our team started to play more in our opponent’s side of the pitch. By moving the ball around, we were able to put pressure on our opponent team with our attacks and prompted them to make mistakes. As a result, we were able to score goals today.

Questions and Answers

Q: Both teams played neck-and-neck in the midfield. For this reason, it would have been difficult to change players today. You introduced Yuruki first to the team. Can you elaborate on this?

A: Firstly, I put him into the team with the intention of keeping the ball while making attacks. Yuruki has been improving his performance during training. He has also been playing for longer periods on the pitch every time he plays in matches. With these in mind, I am expecting him to develop bit by bit. I believe I can nominate him to be a starting member once his maturity level reaches high enough.

During the match today, he responded well by playing as he was expected to play. Every time we lost the ball, he went back to the midfield to make sure we had four players in the midfield. After we scored a goal, he kept the ball well and earnt enough time for other players to move up to the line. He was also always after a counter attack opportunity. He created opportunities not only from the right side which contributed to our team scoring a goal but also from the left side as well.

Q: It seemed as though both teams were waiting for each other to make mistakes from mid-way through the first half of the match. Was it something your team intended to do?

A: I think that Shimizu had such a game plan. As far as our team was concerned, we were not waiting for our opponent team to make mistakes. However, as Shimizu were waiting for our mistakes, we had to be very mindful of this. I believe you are all familiar with the Bermuda Triangle, the area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean between the United States and the Caribbean where many ships and airplanes are often said to have mysteriously disappeared. I sometime refer to the midfield as the Bermuda dead area as once the ball is in that area, our ball is taken away or disappears from us. For this reason, we had tried not to let the ball go into that area and to keep the ball to ourselves at the back while trying to lure our opponent players to come forward so that a space would be created for us to utilize to our advantage.

Q: How would you evaluate Koroki’s performance who nailed the final goal today?

A: Koroki’s play style is full of imagination. The fantastic goal he scored today was something similar to what he nailed during the match we played against Kawasaki Frontale last year. He scored a few goals in the past like he did today. He is very calm and skilled and capable of executing decisive plays. For this reason, I am hesitant to change him with another player even when he is worn out. Even though I was aware that he was suffering from fatigue from the previous match, I didn’t change him with another player today. However, despite his fatigue, he achieved a tangible result. As this goes to show, he is a very important player for us.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Oswaldo Oliveira – press conference after the match against Shimizu S-Pulse