With their 3-0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Sunday, Urawa Reds guaranteed themselves a berth in the MEIJI YASUDA 2016 J.League Championship after clinching a top three finish in the overall standings.
Following the match, Reds players commented on the achievement, which will see the Saitama Stadium residents participate in the title playoff for a second straight year.
“It’s great that all of our results have added up to this Championship appearance,” goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa said.
“But we still have several games remaining so we need to keep earning results and aim for first place overall.
“This will be our second straight year (in the Championship) but I think we’ll be able to learn from last year’s experience.
“We’ve been able to play patiently this season, and next week we want to beat Gamba Osaka and climb up the standings. We’re focused on winning the Second Stage and first place overall.”
Yosuke Kashiwagi echoed his team-mate’s comments: “As a team this is very important for us. But getting into the Championship is the minimum that we had to accomplish, so while I’m happy it feels ordinary.
“We strongly want to win first place overall and go directly to the final, so we can’t be satisfied with this; we want to go into the Championship at full strength.