Football: Cannavaro wants Guangzhou to use ‘anger’ in ACL return
- Updated: May 25, 2015
May 25, 2015: Coach Fabio Cannavaro is urging 2013 winners Guangzhou Evergrande to use the ‘anger’ they felt after last week’s 2-1 defeat by Seongnam FC to help them in Wednesday’s return leg as both teams fight for a place in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
The Chinese Super League champions’ winless streak in the AFC Champions League stretched to four games last Wednesday when a 1-1 draw looked likely until Seongnam captain Kim Do-heon netted a 96th-minute penalty for the two-time continental champions. Evergrande were already down to 10 men after Li Xuepeng was sent off just after the hour mark.
Brazilian Jorginho had opened the scoring for Seongnam midway through the first half, but midfielder Huang Bowen’s spectacular equaliser three minutes before half-time will give Guangzhou a boost as they look to make use of home advantage to secure a fourth consecutive quarter-final appearance.
“The players are angry and annoyed,” said Cannavaro, captain as Italy won the 2006 World Cup. “They are angry because it was a tough match and we had a red card and a penalty, but I trust they will use this anger when we play at home in Guangzhou.
“Every game in our stadium is amazing; you see this atmosphere in Europe. The stadium is full, a lot of people with the red t-shirts, so the atmosphere will be totally different. It is important for the players, as when they come to the stadium they are excited.
“We scored an away goal and that is very important, so we will look to prepare and see who passes to the next round.”
Also on Wednesday, the second day of last-16 deciders, J.League champions Gamba Osaka will seek to secure a return to the quarter-finals for the first-time since winning the AFC Champions League in 2008 after beating FC Seoul 3-1 away in the first leg.
The final two places in the quarter-final draw, which will take place on June 18, will be determined in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as domestic rivals Al Ain and Al Ahli meet, while former finalists Al Ahli entertain Naft Tehran of Iran in Jeddah.
Emirati champions Al Ain claimed a goalless draw against Al Ahli in last week’s first leg as the inaugural AFC Champions League winners edged closer to a second consecutive quarter-final appearance.
Al Ain coach Zlatko Dalic said: “The result is good for us, but we have to start preparing for the second leg. The two teams were tired because the players are playing a match every three days and we are at the end of the season. We should improve our performance in the next match and try our best to score from the chances that we will create.”
Al Ahli must overturn a 1-0 deficit after Gholamreza Rezaei scored the only goal in Naft’s win in Tehran.
For more information, visit: www.the-afc.com/en/tournaments/clubs/afc-champions-league
Source: WSG (www.wsgworld.com); Editing by SportAsia