Victorious Urawa Red Diamonds will return to Fifa Club World Cup a better side, says Yosuke Kashiwagi
Asian club champions make up for disappointment of losing to Al Jazira by signing off with fifth-place finish at championship in UAE after beating Wydad Casablanca
Yosuke Kashiwagi hopes Urawa Red Diamonds can return to the Club World Cup in future a better side, after finishing fifth following a 3-2 play-off win over Wydad Casablanca.
An opening day defeat to Al Jazira in Abu Dhabi meant the Asian champions were only left with a consolation fixture against their African equivalents in Al Ain.
After both sides had had their title hopes extinguished, each performed with far more attacking verve second time around.
Only three goals had been scored in the first 300 minutes of this competition, but the sides matched that tally within 26 minutes of kick off at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.
Mauricio Antonio, Urawa’s Brazilian centre-back, scored twice, including a brilliant 35-yard drive for the opener.
Kashiwagi scored the other, as the Japanese side were comfortable winners, despite conceding a goal via a penalty in injury time that was brought about after a video review.
“The last match was a disappointment,” Kashiwagi, the Urawa playmaker, said of the loss to Jazira. “We were very aggressive today. It was good we could take that aggression and score goals because of that.
“We wanted to do something like this in the first match. We couldn’t, but at least it was good that we managed to do so today.
“We wanted to get more recognition, to show that we are a great club. We want to come back to the tournament with more energy, a better record, and a better performance.”
Wydad managerHussein Amotta echoed the sentiments that his side will be better off for their experience of playing at this tournament in the UAE.
Their pursuit of the title also ended when they lost on Saturday, following an extra-time defeat to Pachuca, the Mexican side.
Amotta made several changes to his starting line-up following the toils of the 120 minutes at Zayed Sports City, and was pleased more players were able to experience playing at the Club World Cup.
“For this game, we wanted to give chances for more players as this was the last game of the World Cup,” Amotta said.
“We still wanted to give a good account of ourselves, and I think we played a good game. We had many chances, but we missed them, and that is the reason why we lost.
“It was an experience for our team. We learnt many things, and I hope we will get to play in the next version of the championship.”
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Updated: December 12, 2017 10:32 PM