Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Gamba Osaka  

Comment from Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki after the Meiji Yasuda J1 League 28th Sec Match against Gamba Osaka 【MATCH PARTNER Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.】

Despite the blowing wind and difficult flow we had during the first half of the match, I thought how we started the match wasn’t too bad today. Although we couldn’t always respond well after we got the ball from our opponent team, there were moments when we were successful in executing what we had planned to do.

As for the second half of the match, thanks to the strong wind subsiding, the game started to be a little different from what it was like during the first half. I was feeling a little frustrated before our team was able to score a goal but then we were presented with a chance to do so. However, it was regrettable that we couldn’t make the most of this chance. It wasn’t like our team couldn’t create any good opportunities today. As there were moments when we were able to control the back of our opponent, I really wanted our team to score some more goals today. However, as we were playing the game of soccer, sometimes it is inevitable that this type of thing happens.

Our opponent team had a good restart of play when we lost the second goal. When we lost the first goal, we had allowed our opponent players to deliver a cross and our team was not able to clear this thoroughly. We really wished to finish the match with at least one point by drawing the match today.

Questions and Answers

Q: Your team had several good chances throughout the match but they seemed as though they were trying to nail these opportunities all by themselves and were thwarted by the opponent team several times today.

A: Our Number 11 player, Martinus tends to play as you had just described. As this was the case during the last 15 minutes of the match, I was hoping that he would make better judgements. Having said that, it is important not only for Martinus but also for all of us to be able to make better judgements for the team.

Q: Since Gamba Osaka was expected to play the match with a 4-4-2 formation like your team, what kind of preparation and adjustment did you make for the match?

A: With regard to our opponent team’s defense, I was able to see that they were trying to build themselves up from behind since Hiroki Fujiharu positioned himself a little outward while 3 four back players from the right came closer to the center. When their number 27 player (Ryu Takao) moved to a high position, their number 29 player (Yuki Yamamoto) also came back down.

Recognizing this, I felt that we shouldn’t be flustered. But, when Shu Kurata moved from the left to the right during the first half of the match due to the overload, our top player had to mark their midfield anchor as the number of players in the middle didn’t match up. During that time, our team was not able to position themselves well.

Our team adjusted themselves after half time. As a result, we were able to put pressure on our opponent at the beginning of the second half of the match. However, we started to lose our stamina after our opponent team scored an equalizer and the result became 1 to 1. Consequently, we started to play more openly as our positioning became lose.

However, as I mentioned earlier, both teams were trying to outdo each other in order to score goals. Gamba Osaka always has tight defense. Even though we score the first goal, they won the match again today by one goal in the end. Our team was able to control the back of our opponent team by aiming at the middle third area towards the goal area. It would have been good had we been able to get to the goal in the end.

Q: Today’s match attracted more than 20,000 spectators to the stadium since the visitor seats were also on sale for the first time for the match played in the Saitama Stadium. I thought the atmosphere of the stadium was great not only because supporters for the away team came to the stadium but also the stadium was filled with enthusiastic cheers from Urawa Reds fans and supporters.

A: I totally agree with you. Our fans and supporters created such a great atmosphere and bolstered our team with rhythmical timely handclaps. I feel very sorry for not being able to finish off the match with a draw by pulling out an equalizer.

I feel so thankful for those who came to the stadium today. I feel today’s outcome is regrettable. However, most of all, I am very grateful for all those people who came to the stadium today. We were certainly moved by this.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD: OM)]

Team Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki – Press Conference after the Match against Gamba Osaka