Quarter-finals 2nd Leg: What They Said
Kuala Lumpur: The line-up for the 2019 AFC Champions League semi-finals was decided this week after Al Sadd, Al Hilal, Urawa Red Diamonds and Guangzhou Evergrande emerged victorious.
Fantastic fan support, stand-out performances, and eyes firmly fixed on the prize as the 2019 quarter-finals concluded in exciting style with the second leg matches played out in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Here's the post-match reaction from some of the key men involved.
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Man-of-the Match Hassan Al Haydos expressed his gratitude to the fans after Al Sadd's 3-1 win over Al Nassr.
Coach Răzvan Lucescu was overjoyed with Al Hilal's 3-1 win over Al Ittihad in the 'Saudi Clasico' on Tuesday.
"We won the AFC Champions League two years ago, and I want to experience that joy once more. It was a great feeling so I want to have that again. I try to play well in each game in order to reach that pinnacle a second time."
Urawa Red Diamonds' Shinzo Koroki admits that the thought of winning a second Continental title is the driving force for the team's campaign.
Al Sadd coach Xavi praised the performance of Qatar national team captain Al Haydos, who was a constant thorn for Al Nassr.
Guangzhou Evergrande’s elimination of champions Kashima Antlers has left Fabio Cannavaro increasingly confident his side can reclaim the continental title for the first time since 2015.
"This is not my first time to be in the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League. We reached this stage twice before in 2013 and 2015, both times the semi-final and then the final respectively. With all our team's efforts we have achieved these results: We are focused on winning titles all the time."
Guangzhou Evergrande goalkeeper Zeng Cheng insisted the two-time Continental champions are hungry for more glory.
"I do feel really sorry for them [the supporters] that we couldn't win. We will not forget this feeling, though, and we will be determined to play better in the three remaining domestic competitions."
Kashima captain Ryota Nagaki apologised to the Antlers faithful after the team's title defence ended at the quarter-final stage.
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