Gao Lin warns FC Seoul that Guangzhou will raise their game at home
Striker confident Marcello Lippi's team will win China's first continental title in 23 years
Striker Gao Lin insists Guangzhou Evergrande will take their game to a new level in the second leg of the AFC Champions League final against Korean counterparts FC Seoul next week as the China Super League champions seek to hand China its first continental title in 23 years.
Brazilian striker Elkeson and Gao scored for Marcello Lippi’s Guangzhou in last Saturday’s first leg at Seoul World Cup Stadium with only an 83rd minute strike from FC Seoul’s Montenegrin frontman Dejan Damjanovic rescuing the hosts a 2-2 draw.
And with the decisive second leg taking place at Tianhe Stadium on November 9, Guangzhou are within touching distance of emulating Liaoning’s 1990 Asian Club Championship success.
“We will prepare normally for the second game,” said Gao. “If we can score two goals in the away game, we will do better in our home match.”
Gao’s 59th minute close range finish from Sun Xiang’s drilled cross handed the China international his third goal of the campaign after Brazilian Elkeson had equalised for Guangzhou in the first half with his fifth goal in as many AFC Champions League games.
“I was happy with the goal. There were so many Guangzhou fans in the stadium and I wanted to share my feeling with them as I was excited,” added Gao, who joined Guangzhou in 2010 from Shanghai Shenhua.
“We were a bit nervous in the first 20 minutes but it was the final of the AFC Champions League and it took a bit more time to mentally get into shape. But after 20 minutes, I felt we were able to play normally.
“Both teams had chances. FC Seoul are a very strong team and it is normal to have times when the defence and attacks are stronger.”
Guangzhou are unbeaten at home in the AFC Champions League this season having scored nine goals in their last three games at Tianhe Stadium following their 4-0 win over Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol in the second leg of their semi-final earlier this month.
Opponents FC Seoul are boosted by the return of Cha Du-ri after the defender missed the draw due to suspension, while Kim Chi-woo could also return for the defending K-League champions after injury ruled the full-back out of the first leg.
FC Seoul have drawn their last two away games in the competition in Saudi Arabia and Iran, while Choi Yong-soo’s side are unbeaten against Chinese sides in the AFC Champions League this season having beaten Beijing Guoan in the Round of 16 having also been paired with Jiangsu Sainty during the group stage.
Koh Myong-jin and Yun Il-lok scored as FC Seoul recorded a 2-0 away win over Jiangsu en route to winning Group E before a goalless first leg draw in Beijing laid the foundation for a 3-1 Round of 16 success.