The host representatives were thrown into turmoil when goalkeeper Shunsaku Nishikawa was involved in an accidental collision with Egyptian international Gedo, appearing to receive a deep cut to his left cheek from the striker’s knee. He was relieved by rookie Takuya Masuda, who did not make a league start in 2012.
The game was not to be decided then as Al-Ahly's Mohammed Aboutrika struck in the 57th minute as he shrugged off the challenge of Sanfrecce defender Kazuhiko Chiba to put the Egyptian side into the lead. The Africans held on to the lead and will now face Brazilian side Corinthians in the semi-final of the tournament.
The 34-year old Aboutrika shared his thoughts after the game. "The most important thing is to win the game, we are here to entertain the people. Playing in this game is a big thing because of what's happening in Egypt, because there's no league in Egypt. What happened in Port Said and the martyrs.... we're more enthusiastic to win. We're just playing for entertainment," said the Egyptian.
|Aboutrika scored the decisive goal against Sanfrecce Hiroshima|
Sanfrecce midfielder Kazuyuki Morisaki rued the fact that his side did not put away the chances that came their way. "We made many chances, but we can not play good near the goal. If we lost chances, the result becomes like this game," repented the 31-year old.
A lot of the chances that came Sanfrecce's way were there to be taken by striker Hisato Sato who was obviously gutted that his team had lost this match due to profligacy in front of goal. "It is very regrettable that we didn't take those chances. According to the game contents, we should have won. At the start of the game, we had an accident and [a goal] was scored, but after that we revived our rhythym and controlled the game," said Sato.
When asked about his goal, Sato said he had taken the shot on his weaker right foot. "I kicked with the outside of my right foot, and tried to control the curve to goal. I'm a lefty and I scored just one goal with the right foot in this season, but perhaps the idea was good at the time. However, I still regret to have lost chances in the second half than the pleasure scored in first half," said the 30-year old.
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