x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Seongnam captain Ognenovski looks for improvements

One might assume the captain of Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma would have had trouble finding fault in a 4-1 victory, but with Inter Milan on the horizon, Sasa Ognenovski was up to the test.

One might assume the captain of Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma would have had trouble finding fault in a 4-1 victory, but with Inter Milan on the horizon, Sasa Ognenovski was up to the test.

Despite rolling over Al Wahda on Saturday, the Australian defender warned that failing to convert their chances into goals might prove to be their undoing in their semi-final against Inter on Wednesday. "We created scoring chances," he said. "Had we converted them, we could have won the game much earlier. But we can't afford to do that against Inter. If we don't take our chances, they will punish us."

"It will be great if we can get past them. We will give everything."

Two weeks age, Ognenovski was honoured as Asian Player of the Year, and he looked the part at Zayed Sports City, powerfully heading home a goal to give Seongnam a 2-1 lead. He said: "The goal I scored came at a crucial time because we started to panic a bit when they scored the equaliser," he said, "but that wasn't the turning point."

Shin Tae-yong, the Seongnam coach, said he had expected a close match. "We did not think we would win so emphatically. We said beforehand that if we scored a goal early it would make our game easier. The players followed my suggestion and scored early."

Schedule

 

Results First round: Al Wahda 3 Hekari United 0; Quarter-finals: TP Mazembe 1 Pachuca 0; Al Wahda 1 Seongnam 4

Tomorrow Semi-final: TP Mazembe v Internacional, 8pm, Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium

Wednesday Fifth-place play-off: Pachuca v Al Wahda, 6pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium;
Semi-final: Seongnam v Inter Milan, 9pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium

Saturday Third-place play-off, 6pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium. Final, 9pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium