“I am very happy to be able to keep our promise to our supporters and fans with today’s victory. We were very determined to win today, and our lads faced to the fight with the willing spirit. I think we had good flow, did execute when the chance came, and that made us dominant. And I would like to just enjoy and celebrate today for advancing to the final. Our players made such a big effort today. And we are able to write a new page for our histories. We have a little time now for the final, and I would like to send a message “Thank you & well done” to the players for today’s game. And I hope to carry this mood onto the league matches too. Also, I hope those players who were injured recently will recover soon, and join the forthcoming games. We had many people came over to the stadium today again. Those supporters and fans gave us huge strength, and that made us to be able to run through the game. I am so chuffed and happy to be able to return our favour.
■ Yasuki Kimoto
Q: That decider became a dramatic goal, didn’t it?
“Everyone worked so hard and, at least, we kept our loss with just one goal, and also offense played the way the opponent dislikes and made their defenders use extra stamina, so that 1 goal was scored by everyone.”
Q: Can you look back the moment of the cross from Kota Mizunuma came in?
“I could read it coming to me. Then Ricardo (Santos) put himself down and took the defender away in front of me, so I knew it’s coming to me. It was a fantastic cross, so I just concentrated to head it into the goal.”
Q: How did you position at there at the end?
“It was almost the end of the match, so I thought I could leave the back with (Matej) Jonjic alone. It wasn’t instructed by the manager, but my own judgement. We were under pressure and had to score, so I decided to go up by myself. In fact, a little earlier, Mr Yoon (the manager) asked me ‘how could you be there?’ (ha ha). I don’t know what it could have been if I missed the shot, so I am happy that I could bring the result.”
Q: How did you feel at the moment of the goal?
“I was just panicked in my head as I couldn’t even hear the supporters’ roars. I am so happy to make them glad.”
Q: Do you think you’ve got the talent?
“I don’t know. All were, because of the good ball from my mates, so I was probably just lucky rather than talented.”
Q: You looked very calmly picked the second ball and attacked with control at the end?
“In the pitch, we were thinking ‘not to lose any more goal’ and ‘score one goal at the end’, so we could play calm and pass the ball in the pace. And that probably brought us the result. People like Yoichiro (Kakitani) gave us instructions. He was instructing us with saying things like ‘play calm’ and ‘second ball’.”
Q: Now you have made to the final of Levain Cup, and do you feel you fought through with all the guys played together?
“That’s right. And we fought through today’s game with thoughts of all the players who were not be able to be on the pitch today. We were thinking that we couldn’t end here. I was also aware of that I am representing the team Levain.”
■ Yoichiro Kakitani
Q: You have advanced through to the final of Levain Cup with very dramatic win?
“Though I am happy about today’s result, Cerezo had several chances to reach to this point (be in the final) before, so I try not be over joyed yet. However, I am very happy to be victorious for the Osaka derby.”
Q: About the offence of the last few minutes of the game. It looked you guys picked second balls closely and passing around calmly?
“Souza managed to keep very nice balance and defended well at the back, then Yasu (Yasuki Kimoto) executed. But it was also Rica (Ricardo Santos) and other guys ran into in front of the goal and created the mood to score, and that made Yasu unmarked at the end. It was everyone’s effort, and fantastic derby. It used to be always Gamba who represented Osaka and aroused at the finals, but it’s nice sometimes, we represent Osaka and fight at the final.”
Q: It was you scored the opening goal.
“I though scoring opening was important, and expected the opponent counter attack pressure, so we were talking about that we needed 2 goals or 3 goals. We had to wait until the end but I am happy that we could do it together.”