Odense BK substitute Djiby Fall's header, the very last touch, earned a 2-2 draw that left Fulham FC out of the UEFA Europa League behind Group K runners-up Wisła Kraków in a manner that left manager Martin Jol stunned. OB were aleady eliminated having previously fallen in the UEFA Champions League play-offs to Villarreal CF and are in the Danish bottom half but there was a happy end to the year, as Rúrik Gíslason and Espen Ruud told UEFA.com.
Rúrik Gíslason, OB midfielder
We had nothing to lose from the game here. I am obviously very impressed by getting a draw away at Fulham, it is a very good result for us. Obviously I am disappointed about the last few results but it is a good way to end it. We believed in it. It is a good feeling to go to have a break and finish off like that. It makes it easier and you are happier.
We qualified for the group stage last season and we were hoping to go through this year but that didn't happen, which was a bit disappointing. But on the other hand I'm only going to enjoy this point away at Fulham. [The fans] were great, it was great to have so many out there. To be honest I wasn't expecting that many, but they were great.
We did not do that well in the first half, they had more chances than we had but luckily for us they came out for the second half not quite as sharp as they did in the first half. I don't know if they were nervous but they might have thought the job was done.
Espen Ruud, OB defender
[Did he think OB could turn the game round at half-time?] Absolutely not. We played OK, we struggled a little bit in the first half, they created a lot of chances. In the second half we played well, we didn't have quite so many chances but we scored two goals – that's really good in this stadium.
We have had a bad season up to now but the last two games [including the 4-0 win at SønderjyskE] were good and it's nice to end one part of the season like this. Now we have a long vacation and start again in three months, our ambitions are to climb the table – we have had three second places so we are aiming for a medal. We had some ups and downs [in Europe this season] – at our best we played well but, when we were bad we were really bad, we have to be more stable.
Martin Jol, Fulham manager
It is a big blow. The dressing room is very disappointed. Normally you have a few minutes to repair it, but not when they score at the very end. It was disappointing. Maybe it was a little bit a lack of experience, not to keep the ball when you have just 25 seconds to go at home.
There were positive things in the first half, like how much we put them under pressure and the players that made the difference, like [Kerim] Frei with a cross and a goal. In the second half our best players were probably almost worn out. They were tired. It is probably the 30th game for a few of them and that is not an excuse because we are a team that can defend a lead.
It was the last cross of the match, so I'm very, very disappointed. They scored [their first] goal from a free-kick and the wall was probably not in the right position. We couldn't get forward, we didn't do what we did in the first half, it was totally different. They dropped deep and they tried to protect the lead, but you have to score a goal and try and get in their half. We didn't do that enough. To give two goals away is very disappointing.
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