Russia's players heaped praise on the excellent preparations of coach Sergei Lavrentyev after their 2-0 first-leg win in Austria, a result that leaves them favourites to seal a place at UEFA Women's EURO 2013 when the two teams conclude their play-off on Thursday. As for the hosts, they were left ruing missed opportunities, though midfielder Marlies Hanschitz warned her team's rivals: "We will have chances to score in the second leg too."
Olesya Mashina, Russia midfielder
We were very well prepared for the game physically as well as psychologically. It was a great game in a beautiful stadium with fantastic fans; everything was perfect, including the fact that we won. Our coach prepared a superb analysis of Austria's play for us, and it was very clear. I'm glad we managed to follow his instructions, but we still have to be very cautious in Rostov as we have to be 100% prepared and finish the job.
Elena Terekhova, Russia midfielder
We're happy because we won the game. We worked hard and scored two important goals and did not concede. We've fulfilled the instructions of our coach, and now we have to prepare well for the second leg. Austria are a very good team; we liked the football they played. But we were prepared well for it and knew what to expect. They proved today that they are not inferior to us, though.
Sergei Lavrentyev, Russia coach
We knew the match would not be easy for us as Austria are a very strong team. That's why we are glad to have won 2-0. It's reward for our careful and painstaking preparations for the game. We'll have to prepare very seriously for the second leg as well, as I don't expect that it will be easy to seal our qualification. We will have to be careful not to concede the first goal and wait for our chances to attack.
Susanna Höller, Austria defender
We're not disappointed, even though the result wasn't in our favour. It wasn't an easy match for our young team. What we really needed was to just take our chances; we know we had enough opportunities to score. I have to say that Russia's goalkeeper [Elvira Todua] played very well. We expected Russia to be strong and play physical football, but we were as good as they were. I think we did a good job; they were clinical and scored two goals from two chances. Our fans were fantastic; they were cheering us until the very end, and I'm just sorry we couldn't please them with at least one goal.
Marlies Hanschitz, Austria midfielder
It was a good game from us, but we did not take our chances to score a goal. We were good and fought to the very end but we failed to score. Russia played the same way we'd seen them play on video. We're not going to give up. We will have chances to score in the second leg too and we have to take them, and then everything will be possible. We have to keep our heads up because we played well. We have to keep on fighting.
Dominik Thalhammer, Austria coach
We're disappointed with the result, but not with our performance. We played as well as when we defeated Denmark at home, but unfortunately the outcome was different this time. Russia scored a goal and then played their usual football and showed their experience, things that our young team still needs to improve on. We were a better team in the second half and I think we can draw motivation for the second leg from this. I have to praise the performance of Russia's goalkeeper: she played very well and showed that she is a great personality. I am also very happy about the atmosphere the game was played in: we're used to playing in front of a few hundred spectators, but today we had an attendance of 3,600, which is an Austrian record for women's football.
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