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FC Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu said his team have "achieved some great results" after they reached the UEFA Champions League knockout phase for the first time with a 2-0 defeat of SC Braga. The visitors' debut campaign ends with a third-place Group H finish, yielding a UEFA Europa League round of 32 spot, and Domingos Paciência is proud of how his team did.
Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
The main thing is that we won this match and claimed first place in our group. We have progressed a lot in recent years.
Two years have passed since we won the UEFA Cup and the team have improved even more. We injected some young blood, some players left, some came, but we have achieved some great results in Europe and feel more confident now.
It's hard to compare our UEFA Cup run and current campaign in the Champions League. Apart from the competitive interest it brings financial profit. Braga fought from the first to last minute, so I'm even more happy. We'll try to carry on this desire to achieve big results in the next year. As for the match, it was a tough one. We felt the pressure and made some stupid mistakes in the first half, lost possession, but it's important that we stood firm in defence and didn't let our opponents create a single chance. Two goals were the reward for our brave display in the second half.
Domingos Paciência, Braga coach
We know that we had a good game until Shakhtar's first goal. We managed to pressurise them and in the first half we were just unable to produce that final ball. We were a little bit slow in that. In the second half we maintained the same attitude but we conceded with a lack of concentration.
Congratulations to the players.
We are proud of what we have done in the Champions League in our debut season. It's a shame that nine points were not enough to go through. There are good teams in the Europa League and the challenge will be big. But we are going to continue thinking that we can win anywhere. Now we can settle down and I expect the same attitude as in the Champions League.
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