Despite needing simply to avoid defeat at home to China’s Guizhou Renhe on Tuesday to seal a place in the last 16 of the AFC Champions League as Group H winners, Kashiwa Reysol coach Nelsinho Baptista is demanding the J.League side secure their second successive appearance in the knockout stage in style.
Japanese Emperor’s Cup winners Kashiwa missed out on becoming the first side to advance the Round of 16 this season after being held to a goalless draw at home by Suwon Bluewings two weeks ago.
But after beginning the campaign with a 1-0 win in China, Nelsinho is eyeing a fourth win of the campaign at Hitachi Stadium to secure home advantage in the second leg of a last 16 tie.
“We played against Guizhou in the first match of the group stage and it was a very hard game, but we need to get three points this time,” said the Brazilian, who knows his side will also advance if Central Coast Mariners fail to beat Suwon in Korea.
“We will keep playing to our standard and concentrate to ensure we win.”
AFC Champions League debutants Guizhou, like Central Coast, cannot be eliminated or qualify for the last 16 this week but will look to build on beating the A-League side 2-1 last time out to consolidate their second place position ahead of next week’s visit of Suwon to China.
“We had a match last week against Beijing (Guoan) so we are tired, but the team is prepared for the match,” said Guizhou assistant Coach Li Chunman after Guizhou drew 1-1 with their fellow AFC Champions League qualifiers in the Chinese Super League on Friday.
“It is a very important match and we want to win and go to next around.”
Central Coast, meanwhile, must quickly refocus on the AFC Champions League having won the A-League Grand Final for the first time on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Mariners face Suwon having only arrived in Korea on Monday following Sunday’s heroics in Sydney, and Graham Arnold’s side will be without captain John Hutchinson and fellow midfielder Brent Griffiths due to suspension.
“We have a great determination to reach the second round of the 2013 AFC Champions League. However, we have a very difficult schedule for this game, and a massive challenge ahead for us. But it is a challenge we accept, and one that we have to get on with. We will try and produce a strong performance,” said Arnold.
“Our aim is to try and get at least one point from Suwon. We will then need to win our home game against Kashiwa Reysol next week. Hopefully by Matchday Six Kashiwa, will have already qualified.”
Suwon coach Seo Jung-won knows his side must avoid defeat to maintain their hopes of returning to the knockout stage for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals in 2011.
“We are at the bottom of the group, but we can go to the Round of 16 by beating Central Coast and Guizhou. We are well prepared and looking for two wins from the next two games,” said Seo, who saw his side beat Daejeon Citizen 4-1 in the K-League Classic on Saturday thanks to a hat-trick from DPR Korea international striker Jong Tae-se.
“Central Coast will find it physically difficult, but they will have a lot of confidence.
“We have also played a lot of matches recently, but we will prepare well.”