Middlesbrough FC may need a few days to get their breath back after completing a stunning 4-3 aggregate victory against FC Steaua Bucuresti at the Riverside stadium. After losing 1-0 in the first leg in Bucharest, Middlesbrough went two goals behind on home soil before staging an incredible comeback and winning the game with Massimo Maccarone's late header.
Steve McClaren, Middlesbrough manager
I have not got a clue how we did it! We showed magnificent resilience, character and attitude. I thought lightning could not strike twice in the same place but it has [Middlesbrough won their quarter-final tie against FC Basel 1893 with a late Maccarone goal after being three goals down on aggregate]. I cannot praise the players and the supporters enough. We have got to the final the hard way, so let’s go one stage further and win it.
Cosmin Olaroiu, Steaua coach
We believed that we had qualified too early. We became frightened, especially after Middlesbrough scored the first goal. The pressure was probably too great and we conceded stupid goals. I think that our lack of experience at this level was decisive. The players must understand that this was an unfortunate moment in their lives, but also that life goes on.
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