Takahagi: I didn’t want to lose to a Japanese club

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It was a homecoming few would have expected for midfielder .

Just over one month after joining Western Sydney Wanderers in the , the former Sanfrecce Hiroshima star scored a decisive goal for his new club with just minutes on the clock against hosts Kashima Antlers in the first round of the .

“I’m glad I could contribute to a victory with my goal,” Takahagi told Nikkan after the match.

“I came to to challenge myself, and I told [fellow Wanderers arrival Yusuke] Tanaka that I didn’t want to lose to a J-League team.”

The defending champions, who top Group H on goal difference following the Kashima Stadium encounter, are scheduled to return to Australia on Thursday ahead of their Saturday clash with derby rivals Sydney FC in the A-League’s 19th round.