“During this hard schedule, we came over to the away match of the Emperor’s Cup 16th round, and we suffered by that busy schedule. The suffering showed up on the pitch today. Even though the lads tried to play with their eagerness, they struggled to finish off the attacks, and lacked their harmonious. They really tried hard until to the end, but there must of been something was missing and lost a goal at the real end. I am sorry we couldn’t show the good result to those many people came along to support us. By watching today’s game, I felt the gap between those guys and the players who play for the league matches. It’s probably the fatigue and other elements too, but it’s important to narrow that gap. I totally trusted all the guys I sent to the pitch today, and they all worked very hard, but unfortunately couldn’t bring the result. It became the last match of the Emperor’s Cup today, but we’ll have a league match coming 2 days later. It’ll be very tough for both mentally and physically, but we must go over it. I hope today’s defeat won’t put the players down. We still have lots of matches to play. I want to keep trying hard with our head up.”
■ Kim Jin-hyeon
Q: You must be gutted about the lost goal at the end, especially because you made some good saves and have been keeping the clean-sheet?
“Yes. We had those players who don’t play for league matches today, and they worked very hard. They trained hard for today’s game, but had a regrettable result. We must re-set ourselves for future games.”
Q: Although you had different members from the league matches for today’s game, you still played among them. We think you played a role for those guys who stayed in Osaka and the substitutes who didn’t have chance to play. What were you thinking when you were playing?
“Tan-chan (Kenta Tanno) has been showing good performance since last season, so I thought I should play well for him. If he could appear in today’s game, I’m sure he would play great. I faced today’s game thinking that.”
Q: You lost in the tournament that you tried to win the title again for this season, isn’t it a terrible shock?
“Though it’s not that easy to win the title again because we did in the last season, but we aimed for it, so I cannot believe we lost. But soccer is the game like this, I suppose. Of course, everyone kept their concentration until the end, but this game reminded me how important it is.”
■ Hotaru Yamaguchi
Q: Throughout the 120 minutes you played, you didn’t have so many opportunities to approach to the goal?
“Yes. With different members (from the league matches), I knew it won’t be the same as the league matches. The opponent defended firmly in the middle and there were some spaces at sides, so maybe we should simply go around the sides, made crosses and try for a goal.”
Q: On the other hand, your defence didn’t have much trouble too, so you must be gutted about the goal loss?
“I even had PK come across my head, but we lost a goal like that at the end. We all worked very hard, so there is no one to be blamed. The opponent’s had quick switching, so we must admire them. We must re-set, and have to prepare well for the league match against Hiroshima who is the top of the table, after 2 days break. The way we play for the Cup games and the league games would be very different. It was the game we could do better today. It was shame about we were too conscious to attack like we do for the league matches.”