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|I||Athletic||21:05||H. Kiryat Shmona|
VfB Stuttgart's Vedad Ibišević told UEFA.com he was happy to come away with a point from his team's UEFA Europa League Group E opener against FC Steaua Bucureşti as it was a game they could "easily have lost". The 28-year-old forward headed an early goal for the hosts but after the Bundesliga strugglers twice hit the woodwork and then found themselves behind with ten minutes left, Ibišević was ultimately thankful for Georg Niedermeier's late equaliser. However, Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner, if pleased with his side's courage, was disappointed to only share the spoils.
Vedad Ibišević, Stuttgart forward
If you had asked me before the game, I would not have been satisfied with a draw because we wanted to win, but considering how the game went I think we can be happy with a point. If we had scored a goal before they got the penalty then we would probably have won the game, but in a game like this where they scored late on, we could easily have lost. So in the end I think it was fair.
Steaua were very good on the counterattack. They had a couple of quick players who gave us difficulties in defence, which is something we were not expecting. If we can stabilise things in defence and make more of our chances up front, then we should be fine.
Christian Gentner, Stuttgart midfielder
We had hoped to win all our home games in the Europa League and we have not managed to do that, so we are annoyed. The fact is, however, that we showed courage. We needlessly went behind but gave everything in the last ten minutes to ensure we came away with a point. There is cause for optimism. We haven't been playing badly, we just aren't getting results at the moment. Of course that is nobody's fault but our own. Football is a results-driven business and it does not matter how you win.
Cacau, Stuttgart forward
In the second half we needed a little while to get going up front and start creating chances. We weren't doing that before and we showed that we can be confident going forward. We need to cut out the simple mistakes and the misplaced passes. That invites the opposition to counterattack and normally you get punished. Thankfully, they only scored two goals, but we need to pay more attention in our upcoming games.
Łukasz Szukała, Steaua defender
Either team could have won but in the end I think both can be happy with a draw. We had chances to make it 3-2, but they had chances too and I think 2-2 is a fair outcome.
We wanted to make sure we didn't lose here. Stuttgart are a good team, even if they are not having the best of seasons so far. Next up for us is the derby [against FC Rapid Bucureşti] on Monday and that is our focus now. We will start looking at København after that. They are a good side too and one of the favourites in the group, but we are at home, so we want to play like we did tonight and hopefully get the three points.
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