Kashiwa not giving up

THE TOP 8: AFC Champions League 2019 match day 6 (part 1)

Kashiwa Reysol striker Masato Kudo has insisted that his side have not given up hope of progressing to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League.

The J-League side have a mountain to climb after losing the first leg of their quarter-final clash with Guangzhou Evergrande 3-1. An own-goal from Daisuke Suzuki put Kashiwa behind after just five minutes of the clash at the Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium, with Paulinho and Gao Lin adding to the scoring before Kudo reduced to the deficit to 3-1.

Kudo and his team-mates head to the Tianhe Sport Centre Stadium on Tuesday looking to claim their first victory at the venue in what will be their third attempt. Up against a Guangzhou who last tasted defeat in May, Kudo knows that the odds are against Kashiwa, but that doesn't mean that they have conceded defeat.

“I’ve played there twice already and know how intimidating the venue can get, but I’m used to it already. More than that, we want to make them silent with the power and strength we have,” said Kudo told the official AFC website.

“I tried my best to get at least two goals back from them before the end of the first leg, and I ended up getting one goal, and I would like to turnaround the position in the away match in Guangzhou.

“Most people believe that it is now too difficult to win, but what we know is that each individual player will have strong feeling towards being number one in Asia, so I think we must think about that and fight as if it’s life or death.”

Tatsuma Yoshida's side head into the match on the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Urawa Reds on Friday.