Ariel Jacobs congratulated his RSC Anderlecht side for the "mental power" they showed in coming from behind to win their first leg 2-1 against FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
Mbo Mpenza struck the winner five minutes into added time against the side lying second in Ligue 1 to raise hopes of a repeat of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup third-round meeting between the two sides, which Anderlecht won 4-2 on aggregate thanks to a 2-0 first-leg success in France. Bordeaux had led through Jussiê's 69th-minute penalty last night but a fine Jan Polák volley and Mpenza's late strike from Jonathan Legear's cross turned the tide.
"I wrote three words on the chalkboard after the game: congratulations and felicitations," said Jacobs. "Although I would rather have won 1-0, I cannot complain about 2-1. I have to congratulate my team for the mental power they showed after conceding the penalty. With this win we have a chance in the away game, and a lot of people thought we wouldn't even stand a chance at home against Bordeaux. We proved them wrong."
The goal was also a welcome one for the 31-year-old Mpenza who has scored just once, in a Belgian Cup quarter-final on 30 January, previously this term. Speculation has been rife over his future, with his contract set to expire at Anderlecht in the summer, but whatever he was thinking after the final whistle, he chose to keep his thoughts to himself.
'The best defence'
Goalkeeper Daniel Zítka was more forthcoming. The only Anderlecht player in action last night to have played in both legs of the previous game against Bordeaux, he said: "This win is quite a relief and gives us a fantastic feeling. If we are well organised defensively, we can do something in the return leg. They have to win so if we can score it will be hard for them. So we have to try to score in France. Attack is still the best defence."
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