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Belief in the FC Porto camp remains undimmed after the Portuguese side advanced to the round of 16 despite their first UEFA Europa League loss of the season.
Porto took a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their last-32 tie against Sevilla FC, but after squandering a litany of chances they were beaten 1-0 on home soil. André Villas-Boas's side, who were undefeated in nine matches in the competition since entering in the play-offs, therefore scraped through on away goals to book a meeting with PFC CSKA Moskva.
"It was a very tough match between two teams who wanted to win," said captain Helton. "They managed to score and that put more pressure on us. Nevertheless, we had several chances to draw and even win the match, but that's football. There have been other games where we had fewer opportunities and still found a way to score.
We enter each game and competition with the objective of winning it, so our aim is to reach the final and then win that." The goalkeeper's team-mate, Fernando Belluschi, knows that "the most important thing was achieved" despite the result on the night. "We should have scored and, above all, we deserved to win it," he told UEFA.com.
"In the end we were not able to find the net, but we are through to the next round. We knew Sevilla were a very dangerous outfit, that they could score at anytime: all it took was an error by us.
Now we face another very strong side, CSKA. It's not going to be a walk in the park, but we're confident we can prevail."
Sevilla bow out with their heads held high thanks, in part, to the performance of stand-in goalkeeper Javi Varas, who filled the void left by the injured Andrés Palop and made a string of fine saves. "It's a pity because it was our best game and we didn't concede," said the 28-year-old. "It's true Porto had a lot of chances in the final minutes but that was because we were trying everything to score a second goal.
We gave our all but that wasn't enough. We're sad, but we have to keep our heads up and keep working hard. Porto have a very good team but I don't think they were superior to us in this tie."
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