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Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Bonadei was proud of his players' efforts despite their failure to secure qualification for the UEFA Youth League round of 16 after being pegged back by Olympiacos FC.
A penalty from captain Franck Bambock had seemingly sent the French side into the knockout phase from Group C, but substitute Angelos Psychogyios-Neilos scored eight minutes from time to earn a point that keeps the Greek club three points behind second-placed Paris – and maintains coach Bernd Storck's hopes.
"Yes, we have regrets about not getting the second goal but the players gave everything, we played a great first half and had a lot of ball," said Bonadei. "As soon as we scored the opener, I knew the most difficult part was to come. We are very disappointed, but I am very proud of my players, of what they have shown."
Storck remained hopeful after Wednesday's game in Versailles, despite knowing a point for the Parisians at section leaders SL Benfica on matchday six would eliminate the Piraeus team. "It is not in our hands now, we have to wait for the result and hopefully Benfica can win," he said. "It was a very difficult game for us. Unfortunately we conceded the penalty but then we found our way into the game very well. We tried our best to get a draw and we are happy to take this point here in Paris." Olympiacos host RSC Anderlecht next time out.
One thing that united the two coaches after the final whistle was recognising the benefits the competition is bringing to their squads. "I think the Youth League is fantastic," said Storck. "The experience of flying on a charter plane with the first team – it is a big event for them. It is great to have a feeling of what could happen in two or three years." Bonadei concurred: "It is important for their experience and futures to have games of this quality. The matches are very interesting, very intense, with an interesting technical and tactical quality."
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