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Saitama: Wataru Endo is demanding positivity from Urawa Red Diamonds in their AFC Champions League quarter-final second leg against Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday.

Urawa need at least two goals to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg, but Japan international Endo insists the 2007 AFC Champions League winners have what it takes to progress to the semi-finals.

To do that the 24-year-old believes they must assert themselves from the first whistle in front of their own fans.

“In the first leg it was probably the case that we surrendered the initiative to the opponent, and so this time we have to go out there and make sure we take charge of the game,” he said.

“If we are able to do that then I believe we will have the chances to score two goals.”

AFC Champions League Quarter-finals second-leg: Urawa Red Diamonds v Kawasaki Frontale preview

A fast start is vital in that regard, but Endo knows he and his teammates can’t afford to leave gaps at the back.

“I think the first goal [is the most important thing]. If we are able to find the net first then the chances of us being able to win the tie will increase," he said. 

"Whereas on the other hand if the opponents score first, things will become even more difficult for us."

“It is important for us to go out there with an attacking stance, but we also have to play with good balance defensively.”

Endo has found the net four times himself this season, and feels he may have the opportunity to contribute again in a game he calls “the biggest of Reds’ season”.

“Recently the ball has been coming to me much more often at set-pieces and I’ve had chances, and I feel like one may well come around tomorrow as well. In my head, I have an image of me taking that chance and us winning the game.”

Urawa completed one sensational comeback in the Round of 16 – beating Jeju United 3-0 at home after a 2-0 loss away – and Endo thinks that can inspire them to another turnaround here.

“We have been talking about what we did last time against Jeju," added Endo. 

"We have absolutely not given up, and you never know what will happen in football. We believe ourselves that we are able to turn this around and now we just have to go out and fight in that way.”

Photo: Lagardère Sports

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