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Gamba and Urawa lock horns in ACL semi-final

Japanese clubs Gamba Osaka and Urawa Reds will do battle tonight in the semi-final of the Asian Champions League. The second leg promises to be a thrilling encounter after the 1-1 draw at Gamba two weeks ago and although Urawa take an away goal advantage into the match, Gamba coach Akira Nishino believes his side can progress to the final. Speaking to The Star, Nishino said, "We're not scared of Urawa Reds and we can actually win the next game in Saitama. "I and the players believe that we can make (the) final. We have to get at least a goal so that is a good thing and will help the preparation for the next game. "Urawa Reds will be thinking that it is a good result because they have a goal but we now need to score and that is good for us as it will define our style of play." Urawa coach Gert Engels said that his side would not hold back although they lead by that one away goal and would be out to score in front of their home crowd. "I think we should approach the second game like the first half of the first leg, try to be a little bit more aggressive up front as we cannot stay back and wait for a 0-0 draw," he said. "We need to play to keep the ball. The best way to defend is to have the ball and that's they key point for the next game." In the other semi-final, Adelaide United takes a cozy 3-0 advantage into their game against Bunyodkor/Kuruvchi in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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