Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Seongnam: Coach Kim Hak-bum was left lamenting his Seongnam FC side’s goalless stalemate with Guangzhou R&F on Tuesday evening but insisted that there is still all to play for in Group F of the 2015 AFC Champions League.
With two games remaining the group is tight. Seongnam are level on points at the top alongside Thailand’s Buriram United, three clear of Guangzhou R&F of China and J.League treble winners Gamba Osaka.
However, while the day’s later game saw Gamba defeat Buriram in an exciting 2-1 win for the Japanese club at Buriram Stadium, the affair at Tancheon Sports Complex was of a cagier nature; although Seongnam had the better chances, finishing the game strongly as both teams started to tire.
Match report: Seongnam FC 0-0 Guangzhou R&F
"The players worked really hard in what was a tough game. We wanted to win in front of our own fans and it is frustrating that we were unable to do so,” said Seongnam coach Kim.
“We played well in defence and midfield and in the last 25 minutes especially, we did enough to win the game but were just not able to get the goal. It was frustrating but we move on."
Kim is already looking ahead to the clash with Buriram in two weeks' time in a game that will be crucial in deciding who progresses to the last 16.
"We lost 2-1 in Thailand and we want to pay them back for that but we know that this is a very tight group and it will not be settled until the very end,” he added.
Despite just four points from four games, opposite number Cosmin Contra is not giving up hope of his Guangzhou side progressing to the knockout sage of the tournament.
"I want to congratulate my players for a good and well-fought game. one in which both teams had opportunities," said former Romania international Contra, whose side will take on Gamba in southern China in a fortnight.
"Mathematically, we are still very much in with a chance. I trust my players to do what needs to be done and they don't need to be told as to hơw important the remaining two games are.
“If we play like we did tonight then, although we đidn't win, we have a good chance."