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Russia recovery leaves Skorovich in good heart

Russia coach Sergei Skorovich "liked the way we responded" from a goal down to book a semi-final spot while his Serbian counterpart spoke of satisfaction at a successful campaign.

Russia coach Sergei Skorovich raises a fist in celebration
Russia coach Sergei Skorovich raises a fist in celebration ©Sportsfile

Sergei Skorovich, Russia coach
I'm very pleased with the result and our performance. Yes, we made a mistake and conceded a goal, but I really liked the way we responded. Before Serbia scored we were playing well. We didn't allow them anything in front of goal, enjoyed the majority of possession and created chances.

Unfortunately we were not able to convert and our mistake proved to be costly as Serbia scored. After that we managed to raise the tempo. Our quick passing and movement without the ball forced Serbia into making a lot of mistakes. Chances were coming and it was important we drew level as soon as possible. Luckily, the timing of our goals was perfect.

Konstantin Maevski, Russia defender
Every match now is like a final for us, and that's how we treated this one. It was very important to score first. We had some chances but unfortunately we conceded. I'm very pleased that we were able to come from behind and win. We were a bit cautious in the first half because we didn't want to make mistakes – the game was too important.

Nikolai Pereverzev, Russia forward
After scoring the equaliser we started to believe we could win in normal time. We woke up after conceding. It gave us a new lease of life and helped us play at the level we can. We were very aggressive and effective up front and that's the main reason we made it 1-1.

Aca Kovačević, Serbia coach
We took the lead and at 1-1 we had a couple of chances, but Russia are a very strong team, one of the best in the world. I'm proud of my players. We weren't very lucky with the draw. First we played Azerbaijan, semi-finalists at the last EURO, Portugal, finalists two years ago, and then Russia – these are three of the best teams in Europe.

We played three very hard games in the European Championship but, in the end, we are satisfied with our performance. Our goal before the tournament was to qualify for the next round. We achieved that – we almost got to the semi-finals – and for us this is success. Russia have very good players, the two Brazilians particularly, and they applied pressure throughout the game.

Bojan Pavićević, Serbia captain
We played very well against one of the favourites. I'm sad because both of Russia's goals were scored after our mistakes. We have a pretty inexperienced team and we paid for that today. It's too bad that we didn't get the chance to play Croatia – it would have been a real futsal spectacle in Zagreb.

Mladen Kocić, Serbia forward
Russia had more quality players today. We didn't have enough strength to keep playing without making a mistake before the end. Everything could have been different if we had managed to keep our lead for a couple more minutes – Russia would have become nervous and we could have used that. All in all, they are a better team but we were not that far away from the biggest result in Serbian futsal history.

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