"You have to aim somewhere," joked Theo Janssen as he described the superb curling free-kick with which FC Twente announced themselves on the UEFA Champions League stage.
Playing in their first match in the competition against the champions FC Internazionale Milano in Group A, Twente were trailing to Wesley Sneijder's 13th-minute strike when Janssen fired high into the top left corner, leaving Júlio César grasping at air. A Diego Milito own goal on the half hour gave Twente the lead, only for Samuel Eto'o to strike four minutes before the break to earn Inter a 2-2 draw.
"I didn't feel we started badly, but we conceded an unfortunate goal," Janssen told UEFA.com. "We kept our faith then after that my goal flew in. You have to aim somewhere. We didn't expect a point but when you watch the match you can see we deserved it. This gives us a lot of confidence."
Having had his first taste of the competition, midfielder Wout Brama cannot wait to experience more of the same with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur FC next up. "Beforehand we would have settled for a point but looking back we might have won the game," he said. "We should be proud of that."
It is credit to the 24-year-old that he emerged with a smile on his face after being given the task of shadowing Sneijder. "He always manages to find space and that's really difficult," Brama added. You have to concentrate on him for 90 minutes because if he finds a chink in your defence he'll score as he did in the first half."
At the start fans behind the home goal unfurled a banner that spanned the entire stand with the Twente and fan club logos emblazoned over a map of Europe. As the home support roared their side on, it is clear the Dutch champions will enjoy the ride.
"We have fantastic supporters and they really get the adrenalin pumping," said Janssen. Brama added: "It gives you a great feeling when you see [the banner], a real kick at the start of the game. We've only played once but we want to get past Christmas in Europe – that's what we're aiming for."
Inter drew their first three matches in the competition last season and there were no alarm bells ringing after a hard-fought draw. "There's still a long way to go and we were up against a very difficult team," Milito said. "We're happy with the result, but there are positive points and things to improve on like always."
Coach Rafael Benítez added: "Our second goal was good for our confidence and in the second half I think we deserved more. We knew they were dangerous and a good team. It was their first game in the Champions League against Inter so we knew there would be a great atmosphere. It is really important to win but if you can't, a draw always gives you a chance so I think we are in a good position."
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