Risto Vidakovic was all praises for his team after getting the scrappy win over Thailand’s Port FC last Tuesday. The Ceres-Negros tactician laid out the plan against the Thai title contenders and was very happy of how his team responded to the challenge.
“I think they proved in the match that they are really professionals tactically,” said the former Betis man. “Its very difficult to follow the plan when your legs are not responding so its very hard sometimes. But we are conscious that we are just in the second week of the preparation. It was too early for us but we moved very good, we covered each other, and helped each other on the pitch,” he added.
The win allowed the Philippine side to get to the penultimate playoff match with no other than the second ranked professional club in Japan in FC Tokyo. Having been in the same stage two years ago against Tianjin Quanjian of China, Vidakovic is expecting a more difficult affair in the Japanese capital.
“It’s another very hard game, even harder than the last one. For us, its an experience for the team. We are always fighting to win. Trying to win. We are tactically working on that but sometimes we have to be realistic,” Vidakovic exclaimed.
“It’s very hard especially for ASEAN countries. It’s not easy to qualify. Because you play one game at home and another out of the country against very strong opponents where the budget is maybe seven times higher. But for us its an experience and we are going there to compete,” he added.
Risto Vidakovic and Ceres-Negros FC will travel to Japan for the first time and face FC Tokyo on January 28 at the Tokyo (Ajinomoto) Stadium. Kickoff is set at 7 PM local time (6 PM Philippine time). The match will be shown live on cable channel Fox Sports 2.