Lotto Arena - Antwerp 31/01/2014 - 20:45CET (20:45 local timelocal)
Vitaliy Borisov, Azerbaijan captain
Yes, it was crazy futsal indeed. The fans are already used to this. We had a similar match at the last finals when we played against Serbia, but we lost 9-8 then. Today we were luckier and we won. You feel nervous in each EURO match, especially if it is your first match in the tournament. We scored the first goal fast, but just after that we conceded.
It affected our performance. We didn't do what the coach asked, especially at set pieces. It's good everything finished in that way, and we showed one more time how great we are at five against four [with a flying goalkeeper].
I as a captain didn't need to say something to my team-mates. They understood what they needed to do. We have played together for many years and each of us worked for the whole team, for anyone who got into problems at any time. We left our hearts on the pitch in the second half. Some kept going even with a slight injury. We spent all our energy during this match. My words were not needed on the pitch. Anyway, nobody would have heard me... What emotions, what a match.
When we scored our seventh goal, I thought that Slovenia would send their flying goalkeeper to the pitch. A few seconds later, I understood that they might be fine with this scoreline. We beat them by one goal; they won their first match by one goal. Probably, they hope that the result of our match against Italy will suit them. They just didn't want to let us score one more goal. When I noticed that they still played without a flying goalkeeper and we had almost no fouls, I was sure that we would get three points.
Edu, Azerbaijan winning goalscorer
It was a very hard match. Slovenia proved once more that they have great team. Yes, I cried after the whistle. All our team cried because we are one family – Azerbaijani, Brazilians, all of us. It was a very emotional moment.
Alesio, Azerbaijan coach
I didn't like how we played. We made a lot of mistakes. We played well only when we were five against four. I didn't like all the other aspects of our game. We didn't play well in defence and conceded three goals after set pieces. We have also had problems with creating attacks. There were moments when I just wanted to sit down and close my eyes, but coaches can't do that. They have to see all the match from beginning to end.
It's bad that my players are very tired now and we need to play against Italy on Sunday. We started this match with two fours [swapping en masse], but then I was forced to use mostly our leading players. I cried with all the others because I know how much effort my team put in. We haven't been at home for almost one month; we have had two training camps and this win was very important for us. Nobody wanted to keep their emotions and tears with them.
Gašper Vrhovec, Slovenia hat-trick scorer
It was a very good match to watch, I believe, but very hard to play. We could smell victory but unfortunately we were denied. We played against a team who play together at club level too [for Araz Naxçivan], and are very good at using the flying goalkeeper. We think that in a regular outfield 4v4, we were the better team, and we fought until the end. We tried to match them at 5-4 up, when they had the flying goalkeeper, but they had the extra outfield player, and we couldn't hold out.
I think that was not crucial. We were well prepared but they scored a goal with a flying goalkeeper, there it is.
I am glad that I am at the top of the scoring charts, but the most important thing is for the team to qualify for the quarter-finals.
We have had very good results. We have time to rest – we could even end up first in the group.
Andrej Dobovičnik, Slovenia coach
We were very close to victory, but you can see we only have a small number of players we rely on. Azerbaijan's players largely come from the one club; they are all professionals, they all train twice a day and, of course, they know how to play with the flying goalkeeper. We are sorry that we wasted a very good opportunity to qualify as group winners, but that is sport so we are waiting for the result of the final match between Italy and Azerbaijan.
You could see that, in the second half, we were a bit slow on the pitch; it's very hard to play two very tough games with little rest in between. But the players gave their all and we have nothing to be ashamed of.
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.