Ishii: We’ve written new history for Japanese football

Ishii: We’ve written new history for Japanese football

Kashima Antlers manager Mastada Ishii believes his team are writing new history in Japanese football following their 3-0 victory over Atletico Nacional in the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016 semi-finals.

The 2016 J.League champions were dominant against the Colombians, progressing to the final with ease.

And Ishii was delighted with the maturity of his side taking on more technical opponents and is delighted to advance the state of football in the nation.

“We were taken aback by their attacking strength and technical abilities, but we demonstrated organised defending over 90 minutes and were able to reach the final,” he said. 

“This was a win for our entire organisation and I’m glad that we were able to create a new history for our club and Japanese football ad a whole.

“(The VAD review) stopped the run of play, but it also allowed for a fairer judgement so I think it’s good as a potential system. However, if you keep using it during the match it will destroy the free-flowing nature of football so that’s something that needs to be considered.”

Shoma Doi, who netted from the penalty spot, said: “We had a lot of potential penalty takers, but nobody stepped up to take the ball so I did, and I’m glad I had the confidence to take the shot. 

“I didn’t know which side I’d shoot toward, but I wanted to shoot in the opposite direction if the goalkeeper moved early. I rarely miss in training so I felt good about taking the shot.”

Goalscorer Yasushi Endo added: “I scored a lucky goal; the players behind me all worked hard and I want to thank them. We wanted to hold the ball for longer but they were a good team and wouldn’t let us. 

“If we held them scoreless in the first half we thought we’d be able to pull off a result, but when we scored the penalty kick their tactics changed. (Nacional) may have been impatient after allowing the first goal but we were able to contain their attack. 

“I want to thank Soga-san (Hitoshi Sogohata) for making some great saves.”