Eight months of hard work paid off for Magnus Pehrsson with his "happiest day as Estonia coach" – correspondingly "painful" for Slovenia boss Srečko Katanec.
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• Eight months' work pays off for Estonia coach Magnus Pehrsson
• "Dream of playing in the finals" alive for Ilja Antonov
• Slovenia boss Srečko Katanec finds defeat "painful"
• Milivoje Novakovič concedes: "We didn't play very well"
Magnus Pehrsson, Estonia coach
The fact we won doesn't mean we played better than Slovenia. We just won, and that is what football is about. We are very happy with our performance, in the sense that we worked harder than Slovenia. We were a very compact defensive unit, and we got some extra impetus after one of the Slovenian players got a red card.
We were about as good as we can be at the moment. I hope this is only the beginning and we can develop as a team during the campaign. It is my happiest day as Estonia coach. We worked together for the last eight months to be prepared for this match.
Ilja Antonov, Estonia midfielder
Yes, we had belief. When you go out onto the pitch, you have to only think about winning. We knew that Slovenia control the ball very well and we aimed to be well organised in defence and to break as fast as possible. I think our plan worked. I didn't see our goal very well from the bench, but I remember my feelings: 'One shot, another one, a third one: When will it go in?' It did in the end and that gave us a win. Every win will move us closer to our dream of playing in the finals in France.
Srečko Katanec, Slovenia coach
We are very disappointed with the result. I can't criticise the boys, but in football it's not always the team that creates the better chances that wins. Our shooting wasn't that great and we didn't score, but the organisation of our game was fine. We have nine more matches. You can't qualify after the opening game and you can't be knocked out either.
We dominated the whole match, we kept possession, but we didn't create many chances. This is a really painful defeat. We believe we were the better side, but it means nothing now. Estonia played the way we predicted, sitting back and playing long balls. They had two or three chances and they converted one. Every team will have a hard time against Estonia.
Milivoje Novakovič, Slovenia forward
I don't think Estonia were the better side – we just didn't take our chances. Actually, we didn't play very well. We were not brave enough in one-on-one situations. We work together to score goals and we lose together too. It's not only about me or any other player. It was only the first match and we are staying positive. We are disappointed right now, but there are plenty more matches to come.