Match-winner Daniel Majstorovic hopes AEK Athens FC's battling 1-0 victory over Group I rivals SL Benfica will act as a catalyst to their UEFA Europa League challenge.
The Sweden defender scored the only goal and was part of a determined AEK rearguard action at the OACA Spiros Louis Stadium as the Yellows reignited their campaign. "I was very happy to score, it was a nice goal and an important one," Majstorovic told uefa.com. "I think this result will help us bounce back from a difficult period. It has been a tough time for us lately in Europe and domestically. We have played well but have struggled to score goals and this has lost us games."
Soundly beaten 4-0 by section leaders Everton FC on Matchday 1, the victory in Athens was welcome relief for Majstorovic, who scored with a towering header from former Benfica winger Gustavo Manduca's corner two minutes before half-time. "We managed to combine a good performance with a goal but the most important thing is that the team has taken the three points. We really needed this victory to boost our confidence."
AEK were missing a host of first-team players such as defenders Geraldo Alves and Carlos Araujo as well as midfielders Grigoris Makos and Roger Guerreiro, and had goalkeeper Sebastián Saja to thank for several timely saves. "Our right-back was missing and we had other absences, but we have a good squad and in the end we've managed to get the win so it's perfect," commented Majsotorvic. "Our goalkeeper made some good saves today, but it wasn't about luck, we created a lot of chances and I think on the balance of play we deserved to win."
"In Europe the main thing you have to do is win the home games to stand a chance of qualifying," continued Majstorovic, who is thinking positive ahead of AEK's next Group I game at FC BATE Borisov on 22 October. The Belarussian side are yet to pick up a point after losing 2-1 at home to Everton on Thursday. "BATE lost at home to Everton so it's important for us that we go there and also get a positive result," he said.
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