Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Schalke defender Atsuto Uchida had plenty to reflect on following Saturday’s Ruhr Derby, the 86th meeting between the famed Bundesliga sides.
Dortmund triumphed 3-0 to improve their derby record to 31-25-30, with all three goals coming after Kagawa was substituted off in the 76th minute.
“Everyone focused and operated together; we were able to move one step faster than our opponents,” the Samurai Blue star said after the match. “I want to improve my finishing and end plays by taking the shot.
“It’s good for us to play each other like this; it’s good for the national team and for Japanese football.”
The Signal Iduna Park encounter marked the first time the two Japanese players were in the starting lineup since April 14, 2014.
“I don’t remember [when we last faced each other] very well,” said Uchida when asked about his playing history against Kagawa. “Shinji was able to play well in the first half and he took enough shots.
“There’s an element of luck involved, so I feel like sooner or later he’ll start scoring goals again.
“It’s incredible that [Dortmund] couldn’t win [in the first half of the season] with a squad that strong.”