Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds head coach Takafumi Hori revealed that his players had a “special motivation” in the AFC Champions League after the Japanese side’s 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal on Saturday meant they were crowned continental champions following a 2-1 aggregate win.
Rafael Silva was again the match winner as the Brazilian’s strike with two minutes left on the clock added to his opener in the 1-1 first-leg draw last week as he finished with nine goals for the tournament.
The victory capped a memorable three months for Hori, who replaced the outgoing Mihailo Petrovic prior to the quarter-finals and then guided Urawa to wins over Kawasaki Frontale, Shanghai SIPG and Al Hilal as the J.League team added to their 2007 title.
“The players had a special motivation for this tournament, as did the supporters, so I think this is why we were able to do so well,” said Hori.
“I would also like to thank the supporters, who gave their best, but also Petrovic who built the foundations of the team, and I learned from him.”
“We were very prepared for our opponents today after studying them a lot.”