Petrovic: My team is growing

In the aftermath of the Urawa Red Diamonds securing their spot in the AFC Champions League last-16, Mihailo Petrovic has stated that he believes his team are improving with every game.

Zlatan Ljubijankic’s dramatic penalty three minutes from time ensured Urawa and the Pohang Steelers played out to a tension-filled 1-1 draw in Group H of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday. The result saw the hosts advance to the knockout phase as runners-up in the group.

Speaking after the match, Petrovic admitted to being disappointed that his team could not secure all three points, as this would have meant that they would have won the group, but praised the character his side showed after conceding the first goal of the encounter.

“After giving away the lead our players fought hard with determination for the win, although we ended up with a draw,” said Petrovic.

“Whatever position you are in the standings, you play for a win in every game, and that’s a motivation for the players.”

Petrovic went on to explain that his players are now in a great space and is confident that his charges can continue to raise their level of performance.

“We got through the group stage after overcoming the tight schedule of playing both the J-League and the ACL. Our team is growing and I give them credit for that,” he said.

Urawa will now play Group F winners FC Seoul in the round of 16.