By Graham Hunter in Vigo
Club Brugge KV goalscorer Rune Lange claimed his side's never-say-die spirit helped them win the point against RC Celta de Vigo that kept the Belgian club in the hunt for a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.
Ability under pressure
The Norwegian's added-time header looped over substitute goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto and perfectly symbolised the faith within Trond Sollied's team that they can cope with intense pressure and still score vital goals.
Substitutions paid off
"It's true that we just never give up in this team, especially when it is only 1-0," Lange acknowledged. "It doesn't matter whether we have been under lots of pressure. We know that we will make chances on the break and I thought that the coach's attacking substitutions paid off brilliantly. I don't know whether this is the most important goal of my career because if we don't beat [AFC] Ajax it will have been for nothing. But I suppose it kept us in the competition."
In fact, the draw sets up two tremendous matches to decide Group H. Brugge are at home to Ajax in a make-or-break tie while Celta face holders AC Milan in Italy needing a win to be sure of staying in the competition. "
I think Celta are capable of going to Milan and winning," said Savo Milosevic, who had a good game but was frustrated by the outstanding 40-year-old Belgian goalkeeper Dany Verlinden.
'Milan result helps'
"In my opinion the result tonight when Milan beat Ajax was good for us," Milosevic continued. "Only a couple of days after Matchday 6, Milan must play again [in the European/South American Cup] and I suspect they will not use a first-choice side against us. I think we could have won tonight and it was frustrating not only to miss our chances but to see a goal given away in the last couple of minutes."
Celta coach Miguel Ángel Lotina had asked his team to produce a more unified display at a higher tempo and was rewarded with a good performance from his side. "After this, I am optimistic about what we can do in Italy in the next game," he said.
Two out of three
"There were three phases of the match and only in the first were we under par," Lotina explained. "I thought we were inferior to them for parts of the first half. But before and after we scored, my team was in control. However, when we went 1-0 up it triggered a very offensive set of changes from Trond Sollied and that threw us in our defending a little bit."
A nice passing move between Milosevic, Eduardo Berizzo and goalscorer Aleksandr Mostovoi gave Celta the lead, but brilliant saves from Verlinden, who kept out efforts from Milosevic, Gustavo López and Jesuli, kept the Belgian side in the match. And after Milosevic's late goal was ruled out for offside, Lange glanced home the equaliser from substitute Kevin Roelandts's cross.
Debutant hails heroes
Roelandts said after his Champions League debut: "I knew it was a good cross and I trusted that Rune would get to it first. But
I must salute the players who played all 90 minutes in that bad weather against a Celta team which passes really well and makes you work so hard."
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