Panathinaikos FC twice failed to hold on to the lead in this scrappy UEFA Champions League Group E tie at the Lerkendal stadium, leaving their coach Zdenek Šcasný pessimistic about their chances of making the last 16. Second-half substitute Thorstein Helstad twice drew Norwegian champions Rosenborg BK level as Panathinaikos missed the chance to usurp Arsenal FC, who drew 1-1 with PSV Eindhoven, in second place. The Athens club had taken a 16th-minute lead through Michael Konstantinou, but after the break three goals in the space of eight minutes saw Rudolf Skácel put the visitors ahead once more either side of Helstad's brace on 68 and 76 minutes. The result assures Panathinaikos of a UEFA Cup place at least, but means Rosenborg's European campaign will end after their match with Arsenal on Matchday 6.
Zdenek Šcasný, Panathinaikos coach
My players gave 100 per cent on a very bad pitch. It's a bit difficult to express my feelings because in our last three matches we have played very well but have only one point [from each game] to show for our efforts. We needed this win to qualify for the next phase. In the first half we played very good football and we went ahead. After the break, both teams had their chances but in my opinion, we gave Rosenborg two easy goals. When you are in front twice you should be able to win. It will be difficult for us to qualify for the last 16 now. I don't think Arsenal will lose any points at Highbury. But nothing is decided yet and anything can happen. As long as we are still in with a chance, we will try our best.
Per Joar Hansen, Rosenborg coach
We have had our ups and downs. And in both matches against Panathinaikos we haven't been able to make the most of the opportunities that presented themselves. We are not satisfied with our first-half performance tonight. To concede an early goal was disappointing, but to come back twice showed good character. We let in two easy goals because we weren't strong enough defensively down our right side. For the second goal, Rudolf Skácel was left with an easy chance after Espen Johnsen missed his punch. But we brought on Thorstein Helstad at the right time. He was strong when others were tiring and the substitution worked. In my opinion, Arsenal were always the favourites and the best team in Group E, but they haven't been at their best so the group is still very open. Panathinaikos still have a chance of qualifying. Arsenal have to win to be sure of going through and for us, or for any team, it is going to be one of the big challenges in European football to try and stop them. But we will try and do our best.
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