We need to go for the win next, says Guangzhou's Cannavaro
Guangzhou: Fabio Cannavaro will be sending his Guangzhou Evergrande side to Japan for the second leg of their 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-final meeting with reigning champions Kashima Antlers looking for victory rather than the score draw that will take them into the last four of the Continental competition.
Guangzhou were held to a 0-0 draw by Go Oiwa’s side on Wednesday, meaning a 1-1 in Japan on September 18 would be enough for the two time champions to advance to the semi-finals for the third time in eight appearances in the competition.
But while the Italian knows a result of that nature will see his team advance at the defending champions’ expense, he still plans to go for the win at Kashima Soccer Stadium.
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“Of course we need to go there and try to win the game, but know that during the game we cannot think about the draw,” he said.
“If it’s 1-1, it’s a good result as well for us but we can’t just think about going to Japan to get a draw. We need to go there to win the game.
"Our mentality is always to look forward, to go to the opposing team and try to win. If we want go forward we need to go to Japan and beat them.”
Both sides struggled to impose themselves throughout the 90 minutes of a game played in hot and sticky conditions at the Tianhe Stadium and while Guangzhou had the better chances, it was Kashima who went closest in the dying minutes to finding the back of the net.
Ryohei Shirasaki’s long range attempt with two minutes remaining smashed against Zeng Cheng’s crossbar to leave the midfielder and his head coach Go Oiwa frustrated after a difficult 90 minutes.
FULL-TIME | Guangzhou Evergrande 🇨🇳 0-0 @atlrs_official 🇯🇵— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) August 28, 2019
🚫 It ends in a stalemate as neither side can be separated at Tianhe. Intriguing return meeting in Kashima to come.#GUAvKAS #ACL2019 pic.twitter.com/jzmVXAm00a
Cannavaro praised Kashima’s defensive performance and claimed he was satisfied with the result, which means Guangzhou extended their unbeaten run at home in the AFC Champions League to a remarkable 21 games.
“It’s a good result considering a 0-0 draw is better than 2-2,” said the Italian. “Our opponent showed a good performance and they had a clear target and that was not to lose a goal by the way they set up at the start of the game. We were a little bit slow to pass the ball from back to front.
“Our opponent has a very good defence and they were all focused on defending when we were attacking and even though we used some attacking players they were really good in defence.”
“We were able to go through with our plan and we were able to defend well against Guangzhou throughout the 90 minutes and that led to playing well in offence,” said Oiwa. “But unfortunately we couldn’t score an away goal.
“0-0 is not a bad result, but it’s not a good result for us either. In the next game we are back at home and we need to take advantage of being in Kashima and we’ll try to win the game.”
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