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Yokohama F. Marinos' effort delights Postecoglou after AFC Champions League win over Shanghai SIPG


Doha: Head coach Ange Postecoglou hailed his players’ efforts as his Yokohama F. Marinos side kept their 100 percent record in the 2020 AFC Champions League with a 1-0 win against Shanghai SIPG in Group H.

The 2019 J1 League champions dominated throughout but the game was only decided in the 90th minute when substitute Jun Amano tapped in a rebound after Teruhito Nakagawa’s header was fumbled into his path by the Chinese Super League side’s keeper. Oscar had missed a penalty for Shanghai SIPG eight minutes earlier.

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“It is an important victory. It was always going to be challenging as our first game of the tournament,” said Postecoglou.

“We had our ups and downs. The penalty was a great opportunity for them to score but (Powell Obinna) Obi made the save. We went there and tried to win, and I am happy with the players' effort and the result."

Group H - MD3: Shanghai SIPG FC 0-1 Yokohama F. Marinos

Yokohama F. Marinos face three matches over the next nine days, starting with the reverse fixture against Shanghai SIPG, and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup winning manager is adamant rotation will be key for his side.

“It is going to be a challenging run of fixtures and we are going to have to rely on the whole squad. There were a couple we had to take off to avoid injury, you cannot rely on just 11 players. The ones who started and the ones who came on, all contributed."

Unlike in the previous match, Shanghai SIPG head coach Vitor Perreira fielded his marquee foreign trio Oscar, Hulk and Aaron Mooy from the start, with the latter duo being withdrawn in the second half, and the Portuguese manager remained positive despite the defeat.

“I am proud of the work of my players. This is the third game for us here and we showed great organisation today,” said Perreira.

“We had a great chance to score which we did not take and then we committed a mistake and conceded. It was the only mistake of the game and it cost us a goal. We played like a team and this is what a coach wants to see from his team, so I am proud.

“With this schedule it is impossible to stay fit and fresh. We do not have the squad to play every three days, but the spirit we showed in the game was the champions’ spirit. The three points would have been fantastic, but it was not possible today.”

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