A 3-3 home draw against AZ Alkmaar may not have thrilled the Turkish press, but Zico's Fenerbahçe SK are taking plenty of positives from their display.
Fenerbahçe twice came from behind at the Sükrü Saraçoğlu stadium, impressively restoring parity after Louis van Gaal's team had taken a 3-1 second-half lead, and while daily newspapers Hürriyet and Milliyet were concentrating on defensive mistakes, Zico was looking on the bright side. "Both teams played attacking football so we had six goals, but we have only played the first half of a 180-minute tie," said the Brazilian. "Conceding three at home might seem a disadvantage, but I have total faith in my players for the return leg. After going 3-1 down, they played great and earned a draw."
The coach was less impressed with the treatment meted out to his players by some supporters at 3-1 down. He said: "The fans should have got behind us when we were struggling on the pitch. That really did not help. My players showed character in making it 3-3. Being a supporter means helping out in hard times."
Tuncay Şanlı scored Fenerbahçe's second, and he was not about to concede the tie. "AZ have caught the eye with their away record so the result is not such a big surprise," he said, hoping the Dutch club would lose at home in Europe for the first time to give his men a crack at the Round of 16. "We have played against a good team but not an invincible one," added the 25-year-old Turkey forward, who has hit four UEFA Cup goals this term. "If we play like we did when we were 3-1 down in the return, we can advance."
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.