Gamba must impose themselves on Evergrande, insists Hasegawa

Gamba must impose themselves on Evergrande, insists Hasegawa

Gamba Osaka manager Kenta Hasegawa expects his men to impose themselves on their opponents Guangzhou Evergrande during their pivotal AFC Champions League semi-final second leg.

The J.League representatives earned a crucial away goal in their 2-1 first leg loss and will need a favourable result on Wednesday in order to reach the finals for the first time since winning the tournament in 2008.

And though Hasegawa acknowledged the quality Luiz Felipe Scolari’s outfit could bring to bear, he insisted he has faith in his own means, and believes Gamba’s mental strength could stand them in good stead for the tie.

“We can’t advance to the final without a 1-0 score or winning by at least two goals,” he told reporters on Tuesday. 

“In any case tomorrow it will come down to whether or not we can play our style of football until the final whistle, whether that be after 90 minutes or 120 minutes.

“Evergrande are a great, strong team so it won’t be simple, but we’ve prepared well and the players are in the right emotional frame of mind.

“We’ve survived a lot of do-or-die situations to reach this point, and I think that we’ve been strong in critical situations whether they be in the ACL or the J.League.”

Fan favourite Hasegawa will have the chance to truly establish himself in the club’s history books by leading them to the ACL final.

Gamba recently confirmed the popular trainer would continue at the helm for the 2016 season.