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Park credits 'top condition' for Suwon Samsung Bluewings' AFC Champions League win over Yokohama F. Marinos


Doha: Suwon Samsung Bluewings’ head coach Park Kun-ha credited his players’ physical and mental condition for their 3-2 comeback victory over Yokohama F. Marinos in the 2020 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Monday.

After going down to Erik’s opener in the first half, Park’s men scored three times in the second half through Kim Tae-hwan, Kim Min-woo and Han Seok-jong before substitute Ado Onaiwu gave the Japanese side late hope with an added time header but it proved in vain.

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“Yokohama’s press and speed in the first half took us by storm and made it really difficult for us,” said Park.

“At half-time, we said we can do it and we should just play our game. I want to thank the players who did their best, and I want to share my happiness with the fans back in Korea Republic who stayed up late watching this game and I hope we made them proud."

Round of 16: Yokohama F. Marinos 2-3 Suwon Samsung Bluewings

“The players - mentally and physically - are in top condition. And as opponents’ fitness levels drop in the second half, thanks to the work the players and the coaching staff do behind the scenes, we are able to take advantage of that and impose our style and win matches.

“We have two Korean teams in the quarter-finals, so I hope the two of us can meet in the semi-final."

Yokohama F. Marinos coach Ange Postecoglou was disappointed as his side missed chance after chance before being punished for their profligacy in the second half and consigned to a Round of 16 exit, which remains the furthest the side had ever gone in the AFC Champions League.

“It is a disappointing game. We really should have finished it in the first half, but we wasted too many opportunities,” said Postecoglou.

“It is a knockout game at a major tournament. It has been the story of our season. We have dominated games but did not take our chances and we make mistakes at the other end and we concede. It sums up our season, we lacked that little bit of quality and focus at both ends to get the result we wanted.

“Today we could have won in the first 45 minutes and we missed it, so I cannot help but feel it is an opportunity missed.”

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