Urawa defeat Kansai University in extra time to reach third round - Emperor's Cup JFA 103rd Japan Football Championship
08 June 2023
The Emperor's Cup JFA 103rd Japan Football Championship took place on Wednesday 7 June, with 29 second-round matches played in various locations. The remaining three matches will be played on Wednesday 14 June (one match) and Wednesday 21 June (two matches).
Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 (0-0, 0-0, Ex:1-0, 0-0) Kansai University
At Urawa Komaba Stadium, Urawa Red Diamonds (J1) welcomed Kansai University (Osaka). Seeking for their opportunity to cause an upset against a J1 side, Kansai University tightened up in the middle of the field to prevent Urawa, who were trying to build their attacks from the back, from creating any form of attack. The visitors also made attempts to win the ball high up the field, forcing Urawa into making mistakes. When winning the ball, they connected it quickly up the field to initiate their attacks, as the university side created more chances and recorded more shots than Urawa in the first half.
Urawa attempted to change the dynamics of the match by switching their formation and moving attacking midfielder KOIZUMI Yoshio to the left flank, but they were unable to establish a rhythm. In the 57th minute, they also made three substitutions, which allowed them to create more chances in the attacking third, including the shot by OKUBO Tomoaki. However, their attempts were thwarted by the resolute efforts of the Kansai University defenders.
Despite the close chances created by both sides, the score remained scoreless to send the match in to extra time, where Urawa, with the use of their substitutions, took control of the pace. The decisive moment came in the 105th minute, when the ball was connected from OGIWARA Takuya to AKIMOTO Takahiro, who struck a shot that caused a deflection, in which ITO Atsuki converted to score the winning goal that sent Urawa into the third round.
Coaches and Players' Comments
Maciej SKORZA, Head Coach (Urawa Red Diamonds)
We played poorly and it was a very bad match for us. Especially in the first half, we were unable to increase the speed of play and our build up was poor. Our performance improved a bit after making substitutions, but we had to fight for 120 minutes to win the game. Although we achieved our goal of advancing to the next round, I believe that the winner of today's match was Kansai University.
KOIZUMI Yoshio (Urawa Red Diamonds)
I was running well and had a good feel for ball, but I was also having difficulties playing the game. As an individual I would have liked to contribute for the team's win by scoring a goal, and it was a bit disappointing to be replaced at a time when I was looking forward to doing so, but all in all, I think it wasn't a bad first game. We haven't played many matches with this group, and I think it was mentally very difficult to play against a university team in the first match of the Emperor's Cup, so I think everyone was a little overwhelmed.
MAEDA Masafumi, Head Coach (Kansai University)
We were trying not to concede any early goals. We had chances both in the first and second halves, but I think it was more about the quality of our finishing than about the quantity of chances we created. We might have had a better chance of winning if we had parked the bus in front of our own goal, but today was an opportunity to challenge and demonstrate the things we normally do, which is to play aggressively and win the ball. No university team has such a physically strong line-up of players, and no game has ever attracted such a crowd. It was an extraordinary experience, which made us feel more tense and impatient than usual.
KAWASHIMA Kosuke (Kansai University)
We had nothing to lose, so we told ourselves to press forward with aggression and run until we get cramped up. Our approach seemed to be effective in the first half. After our opponents brought on more and more fresh players off the bench, we started to anticipate for our one chance to counter them. I regret greatly that I was unable to take advantage of the final opportunity that might have won us the game, but I must remain positive and keep making runs to put myself in a position for plays like that. We must make the most of this disappointing experience and try to improve ourselves both as a team and as individuals.
Emperor's Cup JFA 103rd Japan Football Championship
【1st Round】Sat. 20, Sun. 21 May [Backup date: Mon. 22 May]
【2nd Round】Wed. 7, Wed. 14, Wed. 21 June
【3rd Round】Wed. 12 July [Backup date: Wed. 19, Wed. 26 July]
【Round of 16】Wed. 2 August [Backup date: Wed. 9 August]
【Quarterfinals】Wed. 30 August［Backup date: Wed. 13 September］
【Semi-Finals】Sun. 8 October
【Final】Sat. 9 December
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