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Sporting and Metalist see cause for optimism

Published: Friday 30 March 2012, 8.05CET
While Sporting Clube de Portugal winger Diego Capel felt his side's 2-1 win against FC Metalist Kharkiv "will boost morale" ahead of the return, the visitors took heart from their late goal.
by Chris Burke
from Estádio José Alvalade

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Published: Friday 30 March 2012, 8.05CET

Sporting and Metalist see cause for optimism

While Sporting Clube de Portugal winger Diego Capel felt his side's 2-1 win against FC Metalist Kharkiv "will boost morale" ahead of the return, the visitors took heart from their late goal.

Both Sporting Clube de Portugal and FC Metalist Kharkiv fully believe in their chances of reaching the UEFA Europa League semi-finals after the hosts laid down a 2-1 first-leg lead in Lisbon. Diego Capel feels their win "will boost morale" ahead of next Thursday's quarter-final decider in Ukraine, while Metalist captain Cleiton Xavier – scorer of the visitors' added-time penalty – is taking strength from that late away goal.

Diego Capel, Sporting midfielder
The goal at the end was a bad moment, but we've got the advantage in this tie and that's a positive. We're leading although we know it's going to be difficult over there. However, we wanted a good result here and this is an important win that will boost our morale for the second leg. The first half was a bit flat and we couldn't build any pressure, but in the second half we played well. That's the way we need to carry on. If we manage to play the whole match like we did the second half, I think we can achieve something.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Sporting forward
Of course when you win it's a good result, although it's a shame they got that penalty at the end. But we did well today and we won, which is the most important thing. We won and they will have to score now, so we will see. We will try to score over there as well. We did better in the second half – we created more pressure, we worked hard and we scored twice. It's too bad that they got a penalty at the end – I think it was a penalty – but we still won.

Cleiton Xavier, Metalist midfielder
It was a good result because, in spite of the defeat, we managed to score an away goal, which counts for a lot. We're still alive in the competition and we expect to do our duty at home and finish the job. Sporting didn't surprise us because we'd seen some videos that showed they're a very good team – very compact with an excellent coach. We were prepared for them. We hope to go through to the next round though. Sporting were favourites for this match at home, but now we'll have our crowd behind us with all the atmosphere in our stadium.

Marco Torsiglieri, Metalist defender
I was happy to return to the club that made it possible for me to play in Europe and to see all my old team-mates. We played a good game – both teams played well – but we hope to qualify. That late goal was very important and now we just have to score once to go through. It's a shame I got a yellow card which means I'll miss the second leg – I won't play but I will support my colleagues. Reaching the quarter-finals means we have already made history for the club, but the tie is still open. Now we are going into the return game with all our strength and professionalism.

Last updated: 27/11/12 8.46CET

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