Quarter-finals 1st Leg: What They Said
Kuala Lumpur: The first legs of the quarter-finals of the 2019 AFC Champions League concluded this week with plenty of action and intrigue resulting from the four ties.
Rollercoaster matches, tense and taught ties, and the 'Saudi Clasico' saw the 2019 quarter-finals kick off in fine style with the first leg fixtures. Here's what those involved had to say in the immediate aftermath.
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"Thank you for that huge support you gave us. The result was not something we wanted but we will definitely make a comeback in the home game and win this match."
After the 0-0 draw with Guangzhou Evergrande, Kashima coach Go Oiwa expresses his gratitude for the travelling support at Tianhe Stadium and those watching at home.
“The reason (for the defeat) was that Al Nassr are a strong team, and we were not up to the task. We did not play good football, like we did recently. We did not control the ball in the required manner. We did not have possession and I’m not happy at all with the performance."
Strong words from Al Sadd coach Xavi after their 2-1 quarter-final first leg defeat to Al Nassr in Riyadh on Monday.
Giuliano's header in the 2-1 win over Al Sadd marked his sixth goal of the 2019 AFC Champions League and makes the Brazilian Al Nassr’s all-time top scorer in the competition,
"It's a shame that I picked up a yellow card and won't be able to take part. But anything can happen in the second leg. I am sure my teammates will put on a positive display. We believe we can go and get the win."
Shanghai SIPG star Hulk will miss out on the quarter-final second leg against Urawa Red Diamonds due to a suspension. A blow for the team after he scored twice in the 2-2 draw on Tuesday.
“Before we played this match, we did think about how we had been playing in the CSL and wanted to replicate those performances tonight. But in the AFC Champions League all the teams are very tough and matches are not easy."
Guangzhou Evergrande's Elkeson admitted there was a big step up from domestic fixtures to continental ties after the hard-fought 0-0 draw against Kashima Antlers.
“We were the better team here; we reached the Al Ittihad goal on multiple occasions and in a variety of ways. We penetrated down the middle and out wide as well, but unfortunately we could not score and had to settle for a draw. That is the way football works sometimes."
Al Hilal coach Razvan Lucescu praised his side’s ability to create chances in their 0-0 away draw against rivals Al Ittihad in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
Urawa defender Tomoaki Makino was full of praise for teammate Kazuki Nagasawa after his pinpoint free-kick played a key role in the Saitama side's opener at Shanghai Stadium.
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