Urawa's Koroki to focus on defence against Guangzhou
Guangzhou: Shinzo Koroki’s goals have been instrumental in Urawa Red Diamonds’ run to the semi-finals of the 2019 AFC Champions League, but the striker will be focusing on the defensive side of his game when the J.League side face Guangzhou Evergrande in the second leg of their last four meeting on Wednesday.
Koroki has found the back of the net on seven occasions in this year’s competition, leaving him two adrift of the tournament’s top scorers Bafetimbi Gomis from Al Hilal and Al Wahda’s former striker Leonardo with Urawa closing in on a third appearance in the competition’s final.
Preview - S-final 2nd Leg: Guangzhou Evergrande FC (CHN) vs Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)
Guangzhou: A battle of two-time Continental champions is set to conclude on Wednesday when China PR's Guangzhou Evergrande host Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan, with the victors in with a chance to become the tournament's first three-time winners.
A 2-0 win for Urawa in the first leg in Saitama, courtesy of long-range strikes from Fabricio and Takahiro Sekine, give the J.League side the advantage going into the tie at Tianhe Stadium, but the hosts impressive record at their home fortress now numbers 21 matches unbeaten in the AFC Champions League.
Guangzhou: Head coach Fabio Cannavaro has called on his Guangzhou Evergrande players to show their desire to progress to the final and keep alive hopes of a record AFC Champions League triumph when they face Urawa Red Diamonds in the second leg of their semi-final at Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday.
The seven-time Chinese Super League winners trail the Japanese side 2-0 after the first leg at Saitama Stadium three weeks ago, leaving Cannavaro and his team with a significant challenge to maintain their hopes of becoming the first club to win a third AFC Champions League crown.
Guangzhou first secured the continental title in 2013 before reclaiming it two years later, but the club have failed to reach the final since and the Italian World Cup winner believes confidence in themselves will help Evergrande bridge the gap between themselves and Urawa.
Nishikawa warns Urawa to be prepared for Guangzhou
Guangzhou: Shusaku Nishikawa has told his Urawa Red Diamonds teammates they will need to be ready for anything when they take on Guangzhou Evergrande in the second leg of their 2019 AFC Champions League semi-final at Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday.
The 2007 and 2017 title winners hold a 2-0 lead from the first leg after goals from Fabricio and Takahiro Sekine at Saitama Stadium gave Tsuyoshi Otsuki’s side a healthy advantage, but Nishikawa knows that two-goal cushion might not be enough to take Urawa into final.
“Of course we have belief, but we know that the 2-0 scoreline is still a dangerous one,” the goalkeeper told the-AFC.com. “We're not sure what the atmosphere will be like away in Guangzhou so we have to make sure that we're fully prepared for this challenge.”
We have no other option but to attack, says Huang Bowen
Guangzhou: Midfielder Huang Bowen has insisted that Guangzhou Evergrande will throw caution to the wind on Wednesday in their bid to overturn the 2-0 deficit they face in the semi-final second leg against Urawa Red Diamonds.
Seven times Guangzhou have faced J.League opponents in the AFC Champions League knockout stage, and seven times it has been the southern Chinese side that has emerged victorious.
But at Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday, they face arguably their biggest test yet as they are up against an Urawa side that bring with them a 2-0 lead from the first leg.
A veteran of 12 AFC Champions League tournaments so far, and a winner in 2013 and 2015, Huang Bowen knows full well the challenge his side face.
Guangzhou: Urawa Red Diamonds defender Daisuke Suzuki believes the J.League side are ready for whatever Guangzhou Evergrande will bring at their home fortress of Tianhe Stadium at Wednesday's 2019 AFC Champions League semi-final second leg.
With up to 50,000 supporters expected to fill the stands at Guangzhou's ground, it is sure to be a cauldron of noise when the hosts step out against Japan's Urawa on Wednesday evening.
Down 2-0 following the first meeting in Saitama three weeks ago, the Chinese Super League side have it all to do, but Urawa centre-back Suzuki is under no false impressions that it will be an easy ride for the visitors.
Riyadh: Fans at King Saud University Stadium were treated to a magnificent display of attacking football as Al Hilal SFC advanced to the 2019 AFC Champions League final with a 6-5 aggregate win over Al Sadd SC, despite losing the second leg 4-2 on home soil on Tuesday.
With the advantage of a three-goal lead from the first leg and a huge crowd behind them, Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal took the game to their opponents from the start, and within five minutes they had created their first big chance.