Kashima Antlers manager Masatada Ishii took the positives following his side’s 2-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016.
The 2016 Japanese champions survived the first half despite being second-best to triumph, and their trainer reminded them that they will have to be even more alert against Atletico Nacional in the semi-finals.
“This is our first time playing against an African team and we were caught off-guard by their speed and physical strength,” Ishii told reporters.
“We tried to move the ball around but turned it over a few times and spent the first half on the defensive.
“In the second half we focused on moving the ball into their end as a unit and create chances; once we scored we didn’t give them an opportunity to respond.
“I’ve only watched one match (of Atletico Nacional’s) but in general, South American teams not only have technique but they’ll play very cunningly in order to win.
“We have to be vigilant in terms of looking at how the match progresses and think about how we can overcome those situations.”