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Debrecen proud to fly flag for Hungary

Published: Wednesday 26 August 2009, 15.00CET
Coach András Herczeg spoke of his pride after Debreceni VSC beat PFC Levski Sofia to become the first team from Hungary in 14 years to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
by Matthew Watson-Broughton
from Budapest
Debrecen proud to fly flag for Hungary
László Bodnár came back to Hungary and Debrecen this summer ©Getty Images

Match statistics

DebrecenLevski

Goals scored2
 
0
Attempts on target2
 
6
Attempts off target1
 
6
Corners3
 
10
Offsides4
 
4
Fouls committed16
 
16
Yellow cards4
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 26 August 2009, 15.00CET

Debrecen proud to fly flag for Hungary

Coach András Herczeg spoke of his pride after Debreceni VSC beat PFC Levski Sofia to become the first team from Hungary in 14 years to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Debreceni VSC coach András Herczeg spoke of his pride after his side's play-off victory against PFC Levski Sofia ensured they became the first Hungarian team in 14 years to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Levski beaten
The Hungarian champions beat their Bulgarian counterparts 2-0 in Budapest on Tuesday to seal a 4-1 aggregate success and leave Herczeg purring about the European games to come. Ferencvárosi TC played heavyweights Real Madrid CF and AFC Ajax in the group stage in 1995/96 and Herczeg is now looking forward to meeting similarly illustrious opposition.

'Joy'

"We're proud to have brought so much joy to so many people and to be the first Hungarian team since Ferencváros in 1995 to qualify for the Champions League," he said. "Levski are ranked 100 places above us so we are delighted to get past them. Each game in the group stage will be a wonderful memory for us all. Whoever we meet will be a great team with great players."

Bodnár back
Debrecen's success in reaching the group stage for the first time vindicated defender László Bodnár's decision to return to the club. Bodnár played in the UEFA Champions League with FC Dynamo Kyiv in the early 2000s following his first move away from Debrecen and is delighted to have another crack at the competition. "I've been in the Champions League before with Dynamo Kyiv so I know what to expect," said the 30-year-old, who subsequently played for Roda JC and Austrian champions FC Salzburg.

'Happy to be there'

"It's a great experience so it seems I made the right decision to move back here this summer. As regards the draw for the group stage we don't mind who we get; we're just happy to be there." Bodnár, who scored in the first leg, added of Tuesday's match: "It was a very, very tough game. We scored two great goals after which they didn't really respond or have many chances. Over the tie we won both games so I think we deserved to go through."

'That's football'
Levski, meanwhile, were left to curse the vagaries of fate. Midfielder Cédric Bardon said: "When you have so many chances and so much possession but do not score and then the other team with 35 per cent of possession gets four shots and scores twice, you have to say that's football. Sometimes you have luck and sometimes you don't. It would have been superb to go to the Champions League but we haven't made it so now we must look to forward to the Europa League."

Last updated: 26/08/09 16.10CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000027/match=2000358/postmatch/quotes/index.html#debrecen+proud+flag+hungary

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