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Debrecen knocking on heaven's door

Published: Tuesday 25 August 2009, 9.55CET
Debreceni VSC coach András Herczeg said that his team wanted to win "on behalf of the whole nation" as they attempt to secure their first-ever group-stage place at the expense of PFC Levski Sofia.
Debrecen knocking on heaven's door
Debrecen celebrate their late winner in Sofia ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

DebrecenLevski

Goals scored9
 
12
Attempts on target67
 
49
Attempts off target12
 
11
Corners35
 
35
Offsides22
 
16
Fouls committed93
 
78
Yellow cards18
 
13
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Tuesday 25 August 2009, 9.55CET

Debrecen knocking on heaven's door

Debreceni VSC coach András Herczeg said that his team wanted to win "on behalf of the whole nation" as they attempt to secure their first-ever group-stage place at the expense of PFC Levski Sofia.

No Hungarian side has appeared in the UEFA Champions League for 14 years but Debreceni VSC are just one step away from ending the long wait as they seek to defend their 2-1 first-leg advantage at home to PFC Levski Sofia. Home coach András Herczeg stressed they would not just go out to defend, however, promising: "We want to score and to win on behalf of the whole nation."

Quotes
András Herczeg, Debrecen coach
It's a great feeling to be here and to be representing the whole country in this competition. Our aim is to attack in the way we normally would on our home turf and naturally we would like to dominate the game, but there are always situations when you have to just cope with the opposition. We don't want to just defend our advantage, though – we have the advantage and naturally tomorrow we want to score and to win on behalf of the whole nation.

Ratko Dostanić, Levski coach
Debrecen played very well in the first match, but there is always a second chance and we hope we will be better this time. I trust in my players and now we're waiting for tomorrow's match when we will show our real face. We made a lot of mistakes in the first game and I hope we avoid making more in the second. We must be completely focused. I'm sure we won't repeat the same mistakes again. Debrecen are a good side, but we can overturn the deficit. We are staying calm and looking forward to it.

Key stats
• Debrecen lead 2-1 from the first leg in Bulgaria after László Bodnár and Péter Czvitkovics struck either side of Cédric Bardon's goal for the Bulgarian titleholders. They are aiming to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time and if successful, will become the competition's first Hungarian representatives since Ferencvárosi TC in 1995/96.

• Debrecen have never let a first-leg lead slip on the six previous occasions they have found themselves in this position in Europe.

• Debrecen have never competed in the UEFA Champions League proper. They lost in the second qualifying round in 2006/07 and 2007/08 and only once before have they reached the final stage of qualifying – in 2005/06, when they were beaten by Manchester United FC.

• Levski are targeting a second appearance in the group stage following their first participation in 2006/07. The Bulgarian titleholders were regulars in the old European Champion Clubs' Cup but in the past decade they have struggled to qualify. Although they won through in 2006/07, with a victory against Italian side AC Chievo Verona, they have slipped up four times in the qualifying stages – in 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03 and 12 months ago, when they lost out to FC BATE Borisov of Belarus.

How they reached the play-offs
• Debrecen reached the play-off round by eliminating Sweden's Kalmar FF on away goals in the second qualifying round – after a 3-3 aggregate draw – and then securing 1-0 wins both home and away against FC Levadia Tallinn.

• Levski saw off Andorra's UE Sant Julià 9-0 on aggregate before bettering Azerbaijani champions FC Bakı in the third qualifying round, a 2-0 second-leg home win carrying them through by the same score on aggregate.

Team news
Debrecen
Out: Csaba Bernáth (calf), Péter Bíró (unspecified), Dudu (knee)
Doubtful: Péter Máté (knee)
Suspended: Zoltán Kiss
Misses next match if booked: Csaba Bernáth, Adamo Coulibaly, Tibor Dombi, Marcell Fodor, Péter Máté, Gergely Rudolf, József Varga

Levski
Out: Zhivko Milanov (knee), Vladimir Gadzhev (knee), Bozhidar Mitrev (hand)
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: Cédric Bardon, Georgi Hristov, Georgi Petkov, Georgi Sarmov, Zé Soares, Darko Tasevski, Maryan Ognyanov

Weekend results
Neither team have played a competitive game since the first leg.

Did you know?
When Levski lost to BATE in qualifying last term, they went down 1-0 at home and drew the second leg 1-1. That was the eleventh time the Bulgarian side have failed to recover from a first-leg home reverse – not once have they staged a successful fightback.

Last updated: 25/08/09 21.30CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000027/match=2000358/prematch/preview/index.html#debrecen+knocking+heavens+door

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