|I||H. Kiryat Shmona||21:05||Sparta Praha|
A relieved VfB Stuttgart team left the Parken stadium pitch with their fate "in their own hands" according former FC København player William Kvist. The German side also left it late, before goals in the last 14 minutes from Vedad Ibišević and Martin Harnik moved them up to second in UEFA Europa League Group E. Captain Serdar Tasci believes Stuttgart have the quality to progress, while FCK midfielder Thomas Delaney refuses to rule out his club's chances of making the round of 32.
William Kvist, Stuttgart midfielder
It was a very even match, but in the second half we were the better team and we took our chances better than FCK did. It also showed that we have better attacking players who, given the space and time, can make the difference. FCK gave everything they had and did really well tactically, showing a lot of power and passion. In the second half we showed we had a bit more quality.
It was a very special experience, a very good experience, to be back at my home club. I have been at this club since I was eight, I have been a fan, so that was very special for me. It was very important for us to win today because now we have qualification in our hands. We know we have a very difficult away match in Bucharest, that makes our remaining programme a little tougher than FCK's, but it is very important for us to be able to have it in our hands.
Serdar Tasci, Stuttgart captain
It was an important victory for us. The three points mean our position in the group is better and therefore our chances of progressing to the next round are improved. We have our destiny in our hands. We have two important matches left, in Bucharest and then at home to Molde, but we proved today, in a very difficult match, that we have the quality to progress.
Thomas Delaney, FCK midfielder
I felt we were in control in the first half. We had a lot of possession and created a few chances while keeping Stuttgart at bay. We had a good feeling at half-time, but unfortunately we lost control in the second period and they scored from their opportunities.
Efficiency was the deciding factor – compare the chances each team had. Ibišević scored a great header and I then had a free-kick; maybe I should have scored. [Andreas] Cornelius had a very good chance, but then Harnik scored a very nice goal from outside the area that proved decisive.
I still feel we have a good chance of progressing. We have Steaua at home [on matchday six]. They are a good team, but we showed today that we are strong at Parken and we will be trying to dominate that game. Molde away is going to be a tough match, but even though we did not play our best against them at home, I felt we had control of them.
Kim Christensen, FCK goalkeeper
It was an even match, but unfortunately they got the first goal. We were in control of the match, but the first goal was decisive. We could have done better with some of our opportunities, but with a little more luck we would have taken the three points. The next match in Molde is very important for both teams. We have to win it and the same applies to them. We will go for the win. Stuttgart have a huge travelling support and the atmosphere was quite hectic, but it was a good game in front of the big crowd.
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