ACL2020: What They Said
Kuala Lumpur: Although there were just two matches played in this week's AFC Champions League there was plenty of drama and fall-out from the matches therein.
From keeping cool under pressure to disappointment and regrets at points dropped, the-AFC.com looks back at what some of those involved had to say from all the action on the Continent's biggest stage.
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"We weren’t outplayed tonight or last year. We’ll keep going, at home it’s important to try and get wins, we went very close but didn’t.”
The hunt for a first home win in the AFC Champions League since April 2016 continues for Steve Corica and his charges, although the Sydney FC coach insists results don't tell the full picture.
Johor Darul Ta'zim midfielder Gonzalo Cabrera maintained his composure to score the Malaysian champions' first Continental goal at their new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium when he netted from the penalty spot in the 13th minute in the 2-1 win over Korea Republic's Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
“But we have four more matches, why can’t we progress? We lose one match, it’s not the end of the world. If we win the four matches we go through, so we’ll see.”
Suwon Samsung Bluewings midfielder Terry Antonis puts the defeat in Johor into perspective despite the K League side suffering a second consecutive loss in the 2020 AFC Champions League.
“We had opportunities. That’s the important thing, that we had the opportunities. Now we need to be sharper and we need to take advantage of these opportunities. This means the team works together, the team group works well and when we lose the ball we come back and we’re going to attack all the time."
Johor Darul Ta’zim coach Benjamin Mora called on his team to sharpen up their finishing skills after the win over Suwon.
"These games at home in the AFC Champions League are important. Going away is tough so I’m very disappointed. These teams we play in Asia are good teams. They have a lot of quality so if you give them time on the ball they’ll hurt you."
Captain Alex Wilkinson admitted Sydney FC's inability to see out the tie against 10-man Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors cost the Sky Blues three points after a late equaliser from Han Kyo-won saw the Group H clash end 2-2 on Wednesday.
“I’m not surprised about the way we came back because this spirit is the spirit we have every day. This is the spirit that made us champions in Korea, because it’s not possible to be champions in Korea if you don’t have this spirit. It’s something natural."
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors coach Jose Morais believed the team's strong mental resolve helped them come back from a goal and a man down to take a share of the points against Sydney FC.
FULL-TIME | 🇦🇺 @SydneyFC 2-2 @Jeonbuk_hyundai 🇰🇷— #ACL2020 (@TheAFCCL) March 4, 2020
🤝 A share of the points for the teams after 10-men Jeonbuk found an equaliser at the very end. Honours even at Jubilee Stadium.#ACL2020 pic.twitter.com/ycb9ImCGGP
"After Ricardo Lopes moved to China (PR) and Moon Seon-min left to do his military service, it's true there are some gaps in our wide areas. I'll do what I can to fill that role and for sure I will do my best."
After making his first start in this year's AFC Champions League, Han Kyo-won admitted there was some big shoes to fill with Jeonbuk still adjusting to key departures from their lineup.
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