Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was delighted after his predatory finish helped FC Schalke 04 snatch a 1-1 UEFA Europa League round of 32 draw at FC Viktoria Plzeň, but the Czech champions hope that their showing against the Bundesliga side augurs well for next week's return leg.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke forward
It was very important to score an away goal. Of course, we were 1-0 behind and it is crucial we scored and didn't lose, so we have everything in our hands at home in Gelsenkirchen. We have to play a bit more intensely in the return leg. The first half was not good from our point of view – it was better in the second when we equalised, but we still have to improve in the return leg.
Jermaine Jones, Schalke midfielder
We are a young team, and despite being 1-0 down we showed our ability to get back into the game. The decisive point was Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's equaliser. It was a very important goal. We were impressed by the whole Plzeň team. We have to give them respect for how they performed.
Plzeň play creative football, they are fast on the ball and are dangerous opponents. We knew it was going to be a difficult match, and we went a goal behind, so we have to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw – that gives us a good chance to advance.
Václav Pilař, Plzeň winger
We played very well to begin with, aggressive football, and we did not let Schalke cause us any problems in defence. Overall, we played a good match – it is a pity we did not win it. We were possibly even the better team. We should have scored a second, we had enough chances.
Michal Ďuriš, Plzeň striker
It was a very difficult game, but we had chances and could have settled it with a second goal. It is a pity but we are not giving up – 1-1 is a decent result to take into the return leg. Schalke are a great team with outstanding players like Raúl and Huntelaar and some youngsters who will shine in the future.
Pavel Horváth, Plzeň midfielder
We had plenty of chances, which we should have converted, and in the second half we conceded a stupid goal.
If we play a similar style of football in the return leg without any mistakes at the back, we have a chance to qualify for the next round. All in all, it was not a bad game – our first after the winter break – and we have to build on today's peformance.
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