Endo: Gamba must show more strength

Endo: Gamba must show more strength

Gamba Osaka captain Yasuhito Endo conceded his side were second-best to Guangzhou Evergrande in Wednesday’s AFC Champions League semi-final elimination.

The Japanese champions needed to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg in China but were held to a 0-0 draw in the return leg at home despite dominating the final half hour of the encounter.

And Endo admitted that his side were disappointed after failing to take their chances to progress, and has called for his team to be more ruthless with their chances in the future.

“We certainly had chances but we didn’t have many of them. It’s a disappointing result but the reality is that we lost on aggregate. We need a bit more power,” the 35-year-old told reporters.

“If we could have scored with that formation it’d be one thing, but we needed to break them down in both the middle and the sides of the pitch.

“We were able to bring the ball close to the penalty area, but what we needed in our finishing was something to improve our precision and positioning. 

“When the ball goes in it’s in, and it doesn’t always come down to poor finishing, but we needed more accuracy.”

Daiki Niwa echoed his skipper’s sentiments but still saw progress, and is seeking an immediate opportunity to make amends by defending their domestic Treble come the end of the season.

“It doesn’t feel like we lost but we have to accept it,” the defender said. “We wanted to win so it’s disappointing.
“We were able to play our style throughout the tournament, and even though we lost here it was proof that we’re able to compete in Asia.

“We have the J.League this weekend and all we can do is move on from this result. Now we have to focus on the league, the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup and the Emperor’s Cup.”