|Attempts on target||1||5|
|Attempts off target||6||9|
FC Zürich anchorman Onyekachi Okonkwo said his team-mates' burning desire to reach the group stage was the reason they played "so aggressively" at FK Ventspils, as they earned a 3-0 win.
The Nigerian nearly scored a fourth of the night for Zürich following efforts from Johan Vonlanthen, Silvan Aegerter and Dušan Djurić, but his curling effort was flighted just over the bar. Nonetheless, he could have no complaints about the scoreline, which leaves the Swiss champions group-stage bound, barring a second-leg calamity.
'It's not over'
"We all really want to reach the group stage, and winning at Ventspils was vital in reaching that goal," said Okonkwo. "That's why we played so aggressively. We pushed very hard and took our chances. Ventspils didn't surprise us; I suppose we surprised them. But it's not over until it's over. We have to work hard to win the second leg too."
French striker Eric Hassli did not get on the scoresheet but menaced the Latvian champions relentlessly, and he believed the memory of a 3-2 home defeat by Slovenia's NK Maribor in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie kept his side focused in Riga. "It was a very serious match, and we respected our opponents," he said.
"The first goal was very important for us as it helped us to settle down," added the towering 28-year-old. "A defeat at home by Maribor in the last round was a very good lesson for us, and this game showed that we learned that lesson well. The atmosphere in our team is really great, and that is a huge help in such matches."
The atmosphere in the Ventspils ranks was understandably a little more subdued, with Moldova defender Igor Ţîgîrlaş saying: "Our mistakes cost us. We prepared well for the match and expected this kind of football but we couldn't take our scoring chances. Still you always have a chance, and I can assure you we are not going to give up before the end of the second leg."
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.