Urawa Reds striker Yuki Muto praised his side following their 1-0 win over Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday night in the 2016 AFC Champions League group stage.
The 27-year-old scored the lone goal of the match in the 52nd minute, delivering the Chinese side a huge blow in their quest to repeat as tournament champions.
“Coach [Mihailo Petrovic] told us to play like it was the final. We were all pumped up and you could see that tonight,” Muto said after the match.
“We were able to play our attacking football and even if they pushed back at the end of the match we defended strongly and proved that we deserve to advance.”
Matchday 5 will see the Reds travel to current Group H leaders Sydney FC on April 20.