Patience was key to Nagoya Grampus’ AFC Champions League win over Johor Darul Ta’zim, says Ficcadenti | Football | New
Bangkok: Patience is a virtue and head coach Massimo Ficcadenti believes Japan’s Nagoya Grampus were rewarded with a 1-0 victory over Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim in Group G of the Champions League in the AFC 2021 Tuesday for showing composure.
Nagoya’s Hiroyoki Abe scored the only goal of the game in a hotly contested affair at Rajamangala Stadium.
The Japanese are second in the standings behind Koreans Pohang Steelers, who have a better goal difference following their 2-0 victory over Thais Ratchaburi FC in the other group game on Tuesday.
Ficcadenti was pleased with the performance of his players and recognized their patience as the key to success on the pitch against the Malaysian champions.
“It was 90 difficult minutes for us in wet weather conditions, but it’s good to win this first game,” said Ficcadenti. “In fact, both teams played well tactically and tackled each other’s weak spots.”
“Before the game I told the players that they have to be patient and if they lose that patience the game is lost so even after the goalless first half I called them back and they stayed calm.
“So mentally and physically we prepared well and were able to win the game. This is my interpretation of what I told my players and they got it right. This is the key to victory.
“We scored the goal just in time. We can score goals and we took the necessary risks and it paid off. “
Despite the loss, Johor Darul head coach Ta’zim Benjamin Mora was happy with his accusations for showing determination until the very end.
“It was a tough first game of the competition,” said Mora. “It was only after 15 minutes that we settled into the game and controlled the pace.”
“Everything was going well and Nagoya was very organized, strong and powerful in intensity, so we weren’t able to ramp up like we normally do.
“I’m proud of my players, they fought and gave everything until the very last minute but unfortunately we conceded a goal and lost the game. I’m happy with the effort they showed on the pitch today.
Johor Darul Ta’zim will stand a chance of securing his first victory Friday against Ratchaburi, while Nagoya faces Pohang.