J1 vs Urawa Reds: Players’ Comments

Matej Jonjic

Q: Please tell us how do you feel after the game against Urawa Red’s - the team who earned the highest winning points in last season in J1?
“We knew they are strong team, so we thought we prepared… We started play compact, slid to left and right and tried not giving any chance to them, but lost a goal in 1st half, and from that point it became difficult for us. They were such tough opponents.”

Q: You had the 1st goal in Japan. Are you happy?
“I should be happy at normal circumstances, however after losing the game 3-1, I am not happy at all. As a defender I can be happy if I defend well and execute a chance, but I didn’t defend well today. It is important that we don’t allow any goals. And we get goals, then we can be happy.”

Kunimitsu Sekiguchi

Q: How do you feel after the game at your former soccer base?
“I feel it’s utter defeat. Though it was 5th game of 5 consecutive matches for them and they must be suffered their stamina, they still managed ball all the time and we lost points, it’s utter defeat for us.”

Q: Were they so strong, even for you who knew how strong they were so very well?
“Yes. And we must be precise on our defence, otherwise not possible to stop their attack. Now we learnt how the top team who are a candidate to be a champion of J1 play, so we reflect on this game and start playing solid for the rest of games, otherwise it’ll be very difficult season for us. We must take today’s defeat as a good lesson, and learn from it for the future games.”

Q: Prioritize on defence was the team plan, but didn’t you have a chance to steal ball, or the opponent was too good?
“Well, they received and turned every ball in between us, so the distance between our tops and ends are getting wider, we became too busy defending, then when we had a chance to attack we didn’t have enough power physically. I was kind of expecting, but became tougher than I thought.”

Tatsuya Yamashita

“It was very difficult to form good defence formation against them. They came in deep and our marking wasn’t synching. When we play against Urawa next time, I want to be more conscious about making positive actions. Urawa plays different games, and it would be very difficult if you lose a goal first and made yourself chase after them. If we could manage the 1st half without losing any point it could be different result, I wonder.”


“It was a tough game. They’ve been playing together for long time and had good communication each other. I think we did what we could for now. We must improve at every games, and today’s game didn’t become a game we wanted to be.”

Kenyu Sugimoto

“There was a bit of distant but I wish I could keep ball more. We spent most of our time defending, so I was a bit isolated, but it cannot be an excuse, and if I could keep more, we may could have developed some chances. But even if I keep ball I need quicker support, so I will demand it too.”

Shohei Kiyohara

Q: Wasn’t it your debut game in J1?
“Unfortunately the team was defeated, but I must carry on this opportunity to play in future J1 games. I will show my ability in training and hope to be picked again. I will be concentrating on building my trust from the manager.”