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Fabricio: Emotional goal nearly brought me to tears

Saturday, October 5, 2019
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Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds midfielder Fabricio admitted that his stunning opener in Wednesday’s AFC Champions League semi-final first leg unleashed a torrent of pent-up emotions at Saitama Stadium.

The Brazilian had already given warning that he intended to test Guangzhou Evergrande ‘keeper Zeng Cheng with an early, unsuccessful effort on goal but few in the stadium were ready for what happened on 19 minutes.

From fully 25-yards-out Fabricio received possession, took a touch, and let fly with a vicious, swerving effort that rocketed into the opposite far corner of the goal, leaving Zeng helpless.

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The 29-year-old celebrated his stunning goal with real feeling and, he admitted, it was a significant moment to score his first AFC Champions League goal in such style.

“I was very happy to score such a beautiful goal,” he said. "In fact, I’ve been training so hard to score exactly that kind of goal.

“So, when I finally achieved it for the first time in a long while, I was very emotional and almost began crying.”

Part of his delight in making such an impact came from the desire to stand out on the field against many of his more well-known countrymen.

Much of the hype ahead of the tie had revolved around Guangzhou’s Brazil-born stars Paulinho, Talisca and Elkeson, but it was Fabricio’s name that took the headlines.

“They are high-level players with experience of many big tournaments, so it’s an honour to play against these types of opponents,” he said.

Semi-final - 1st Leg: Urawa Red Diamonds vs Guangzhou Evergrande

“It was an honour just to step out onto the pitch today. And yes, it does give me extra motivation to win against them.

“It was this determination and huge desire to win that made the difference. So I’m very happy we got the victory against them.”

While the 2-0 scoreline does give Urawa a big advantage going into the return meeting in southern China in three weeks’ time, Fabricio is well aware that the tie is far from over.

Guangzhou boast a 21-match unbeaten record at Tianhe Stadium in the AFC Champions League and they will not give up their dreams of a third Continental final so easily.

“When you play a great team such as Guangzhou, you can’t think about any first leg advantage,” said Fabricio.

“We have to play hard against them. We have to channel the same will and feeling we had from the first leg and do our best to get the result we need to go to the final.”

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