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Few leave the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica with a positive result these days, but Fenerbahçe SK's disappointment was palpable after falling just short of a first UEFA competition final following a 3-1 UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg defeat at SL Benfica.
Moussa Sow was proud of Fenerbahçe's efforts throughout their run, and even if the Senegal striker expressed their sadness at not making it to the Amsterdam showpiece, he said he is expecting an exciting final between "two great teams".
Moussa Sow, Fenerbahçe forward
It's a huge disappointment. Tonight I think we deserved better. We were up against a great Benfica team and we knew it would be really, really hard. We're all sad not to have reached the final but we hope this will lead to more good things in the future.
At 1-1, we were dreaming of a lot of things. They needed two to qualify, but we dropped deep and we knew it would be like that against a Benfica team that are very good going forward. We saw that this evening. They played very well, and it's a pity for us. We could look back on the first game where we could have given ourselves some space with the chances that hit the post but that's football, that's destiny.
Do I think Chelsea are stronger? No, I think Benfica are a very good team and it's going to be a great final.
We gave a really good account of ourselves in this competition. All the way through, we didn't concede many goals and we scored plenty. We really deserved to get to the semi-finals and maybe we deserved to get to the final too, but we'll move on. I'm sure we can do great things in the future with Fenerbahçe.
Volkan Demirel, Fenerbahçe goalkeeper
There's nothing to talk about except our sorrow. We did very well up to this point. We wanted the final and beyond so much. We believed we could do it. Some unfortunate things happened on the pitch such as the injuries to Selçuk [Şahin] and Gökhan [Gönül]. We couldn't defend the 1-0 advantage from the first leg. If we had won that game by a wider margin, we might be talking about something different now. We did our best but we couldn't succeed.
There's nothing else to say. We made a mistake for the second goal. Like our coach Aykut Kocaman said, you shouldn't concede goals like that at this level. No matter how much you elaborate, the result won't change. We're sad we couldn't give Fenerbahçe fans that final gift. We hope to reach a final in years to come.
Reto Ziegler, Fenerbahçe defender
We're all sad. It's not easy to talk about it. We played two high-level matches but we paid the price for hitting the woodwork three times in the first leg. The side who made the fewest mistakes would always reach the final and we made the most mistakes. After the great match in Istanbul, we deserved to be in the final but we have to focus on our trophy bid both in the league and Turkish Cup. There's nothing else to do.
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