“ We had a good preparation with the short interval after the first game. During the game, we partially played well with a good flow though we needed to chase the game. I am very disappointed that our performance did not stand out to excite the many fans who came to the stadium. That said, I think that my players made their best efforts until the last moment. From now on, only league games are ahead for us. We will do our best.”
Q: You needed many goals today. Given that, you were the offensive from the kick off, which led you to take the lead in a good shape.
“ We aimed to put pressure on the opponents in order to score as many goals as we could. To qualify for the semi-final, we did our best but were not enough to go through.”
Q: Do you think that the game turned harder after conceding an opening goal?
“ For qualifying for the semi-final place, we had to get three points with a clean sheet, which was actually as hard as predicted. To get points, a strong front-line and a solid defense were necessary. It was a difficult game. Even so, we put up a good fight without giving up.
Q: Your middle-range shot which struck the net was brilliant.
“ Thank you very much”
◼ Toshiyuki Takagi
Q: After taking the lead, you had a good start. Have you thought that it would be going fine.
“ Given our circumstance, we desperate to score a goal. Having thought that our lead would have a negative effect on them, we intentionally put out an offensive side. I am quite frustrated about our poor performance, which allowed Shonan to score a goal. It perhaps affected the entire game afterwards.”
Q: I felt that you were emotionally involved in the game.
“ It’s personal, but after transferring to Cerezo, I missed the Emperor’s Cup, which drove me to work harder for the Levaine Cup. Today’s match was hard, but I believed that we could turn it around as I have experienced when we won the championship after coming back from behind at the game with Urawa Reds in the ACL. That is why I was strongly involved in the game. My belief kept me going.”
◼ Hotaru Yamaguchi
“ We had no choice but to get a goal from the kick-off but at the same time, we needed pay great attention not to concede any goals. I conceived what the game would be like. We definitely kept showing our never-give-up spirit throughout, but it was a hard game. We have to admit our faults. The fact that Shonan had had a 3-0 win at home hugely affected us. I hope that they go up to the top.”