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Having scored the goal that earned FC København a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the second time, summer signing Sölvi Ottesen could barely put his joy into words.
In a pulsating first half against Rosenborg BK, which was littered with missed opportunities for the Lions and the odd one for the visitors, Ottesen seized the moment when he decided to gamble on Claudemir's long throw into the box. The result was a perfectly-placed header which not only secured Ståle Solbakken's team a berth in today's draw with an away-goals victory, but perhaps Ottesen a permanent spot in the hearts of FCK supporters who had seen their side fall twice at the final qualifying hurdle in the last three seasons.
"The celebrations were fantastic," the 26-year-old told UEFA.com after FCK's 1-0 win in a 2-2 aggregate draw. "It's a dream for any player to go through to the group stage of the Champions League. I can't describe the feeling but it's wonderful. We will enjoy it." Ottesen, who joined FCK in June from SønderjyskE, could hardly have popped up at a more important time to register his first goal for his new employers. "It feels amazing," explained the Icelandic international. "
This was the biggest game of my career so to have scored the winning goal is fantastic."
FCK sit top of the Danish Super League having taken 16 points from a possible 18 – their best start since their foundation in 1992 – and are now back among Europe's elite, so the outlook is bright for the capital club. "We have proved we are a really good team and we have high ambitions," added Ottesen. "Everything is clicking and we're just hoping it's going to be like that for many days to come."
Following a first-half display that was "maybe the best we have done in the history of FC København", winger Jesper Grønkjær conceded that the Danish titleholders began to feel the pressure after the break, knowing one goal would have swung the play-off back in Rosenborg's favour. "In the second half we maybe got a bit nervous because we didn't score and near the end they hit the crossbar," said Grønkjær, one of FCK's biggest threats and the scorer of that crucial away goal in the first leg. "It would have been typical if they had scored but I think we deserved it."
While FCK celebrate a first group-stage spot since 2006/07 – when they finished bottom of their section despite collecting seven points – Rosenborg must console themselves with a place in the UEFA Europa League after the end of their 31-match unbeaten run this calendar year. Defender Kris Stadsgaard said: "We'll have to see which teams we get in the draw, but we're leading the league by nine points and in the semi-final of the cup so it's not that bad."
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