Urawa advances to their first Semi-finals in three years at the 98th Emperor's Cup Quarterfinals – Urawa vs Tosu
25 October 2018
After going undefeated in five league matches, Urawa Red Diamonds carried their momentum into the quarterfinal match of the Emperor's Cup JFA 98th Japan Football Championship to win over Sagan Tosu, and advance through to their first Emperor's Cup semi-finals in three years.
Urawa employed the same starting line-up from their recent J1 match against Kashima, while Tosu also kept their core players in this match as Fernando TORRES and ONO Yuji were among those seen in their line-up.
The match saw Tosu applying aggressive pressure from the early minutes, but it was the Urawa side who captured the opening goal. The scene came in the 16th minute, when MORIWAKI Ryota initiated the attack from the right flank as the ball was connected through the field to the opposite end where UGAJIN Tomoya received the ball and struck a right footed shot. The shot was deflected off YOSHIDA Yutaka and shook the net to give Urawa the early lead.
Tosu struggled to effectively deliver the ball to their offence, while Urawa utilised the space in the flanks to initiate their attacks. In the 31st minute, Urawa once again created an opportunity by switching the ball from side to side, as KASHIWAGI Yosuke delivered a through ball to KOROKI Shinzo, who laid the ball down to allow MAKINO Tomoaki to slot the ball into the goal.
In efforts to score goals, Tosu brought in CHO Dong-Geon and TAKAHASHI Hideto in the second half, as they created opportunities from crosses and Ono’s dribbles, but came short from finding the net. In the 57th minute, Tosu’s KIM Min-Hyeok was ejected from the match after receiving his second yellow card of the match. While Tosu started to lose their momentum, Urawa also started to lack quality in their plays. Despite the efforts made by Koroki and Andrew NABBOUT, Urawa failed to score further goals as the match ended with a final score of 2-0.
Urawa’s Coach Oswaldo OLIVEIRA mentioned after the match, “We managed to showcase a quality performance today. However, we seemed to have slowed down after our opponents lost a player.” On the other hand, Tosu’s Coach KIM Myung-Hwi regretted his side’s early approach, “We couldn’t respond against Urawa’s multi-layered attack in the early minutes of the first half.”
DF #5 MAKINO Tomoaki (Urawa Red Diamonds)
The atmosphere of the stadium was a lot more tense than usual. We entered the match with a strong intention to win the match and that mentality has helped us start off the match in the right mood. We managed to perform very well in the early minutes and I was able to score a goal. I have been taking a great emphasis on defence in the recent years, but in that moment, I saw the space in front of me while Koroki created the perfect timing for me to make the run. I’ve scored numbers of goals off set plays in the past, but today I was able to score from the flow of the game. I will try to make myself more involved in the team’s offence at the league matches as well.
DF #23 YOSHIDA Yutaka (Sagan Tosu)
This was our second match since we welcomed our new coach. We won our last match against Sendai in the J. League, and we wanted to enter the match in the same way, as we made aggressive pressure to the ball and out ran the opponents. However, we could have approached the ball stronger and make more runs in today’s match. If we stuck with an offensive approach and exchange quality passes, we should be able to give more opportunities to Torres and (KANAZAKI) Mu to score goals. The coach has told us to deliver more vertical passes and to utilise the third player. It was very difficult to manage between the cup matches and the league matches, but now we can just focus on our relegation battle at the J. League.
【1st Round】Sat. 26, Sun. 27 May
【2nd Round】Wed. 6 June
【3rd Round】Wed. 11 July
【Round of 16】Wed. 22 August (Reserve date Wed. 26 September)
【Quarterfinals】Wed. 24 October, Wed. 21 November
【Semi-final】Sun. 16 December
【Final】Mon. 24 December
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