Urawa Red Diamonds star Rafael Silva reflects on a superb day on the pitch, where his goal saw the Reds reach the 2017 AFC Champions League final.
Silva’s 11th minute header sent the 44 000 strong crowd in the Saitama Stadium in Japan into raptures and Urawa did enough defensively to thwart the potent Shanghai SIPG attack for the rest of the match.
The goal is the Brazilians seventh of the campaign, putting him two behind fellow countryman Hulk who is the top scorer. However, this goal was by far Silva’s most important.
“I’m sure this is one of the best days of my career,” quipped the 25-year-old from Sao Paulo in the post-match press conference.
“Today we could make a big step forward, and I think is completely important for us. Now we need to get both our feet back on the ground and just focus on the next game.”
11' GOAL! 1-0 @REDSOFFICIAL (Agg. 2-1)
— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) October 18, 2017
Silva added that it was a routine training drill that lead to the all-important goal.
“Naturally during training we work on set pieces and these kind of things,” he continued.
“It’s something we, of course, do the day before the game, and I think the situation came about exactly as we had been on working on.
“It was really effective – exactly the way we’d been practicing.”
Urawa face the undefeated Al Hilal in the first leg of the 2017 AFC Champions League final on November 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.