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Onwards and upwards for Benfica

Published: Friday 26 November 2004, 12.27CET
Group G reaction: Giovanni Trapattoni was particularly encouraged by SL Benfica's return to form.
Published: Friday 26 November 2004, 12.27CET

Onwards and upwards for Benfica

Group G reaction: Giovanni Trapattoni was particularly encouraged by SL Benfica's return to form.

Home comforts were the order of the day in Group G last night as SC Heerenveen and SL Benfica achieved creditable 1-0 and 2-0 wins against VfB Stuttgart and NK Dinamo Zagreb respectively.

It is a great result for us and we managed to hang on to our slim lead until the final whistle. We were in control of the match in the first half and we took charge again after surviving VfB's early pressure after the break. We can thank our outstanding goalkeeper [Brian Vanderbussche] for the fact we didn't concede a goal in the last 15 minutes. Heerenveen coach Gertjan Verbeek

Both teams did well in the first half, but we managed to get the better of them after the restart. However, just as we were taking control they scored. At this point we had two players on the field who wanted to come off in Horst Heldt and Aliaksandr Hleb, but we should still have done better. Now we want to beat Zagreb so that we can win the group. Stuttgart coach Matthias Sammer

This was a much better performance than our last game [a 3-3 draw against Rio Ave FC]. Last Sunday we were a bit too relaxed. We have to grow as a team and we saw the video of the match and what we did wrong. I am happy with the players because they saw what was wrong. Our goal is to qualify for the next round and we are confident, as we are also looking good in the SuperLiga. Benfica coach Giovanni Trapattoni

We didn't expect to win this match because the team is experiencing troubled times. Nevertheless we played aggressively and could have scored first. In the second half we played better but Benfica won deservedly as they have a better and more experienced team. Dinamo Zagreb coach Ilija Loncarevic

Last updated: 26/11/04 13.48CET

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