Steaua just short of Sevilla shock

Goalkeeper Robinson Zapata felt the gulf in class between FC Steaua Bucureşti and Sevilla FC "was not so great after all" following a narrow 2-1 loss in Spain.

FC Steaua Bucureşti are rueing what might have been after coming to within sight of a famous UEFA Champions League result at Sevilla FC.

Steaua coach Massimo Pedrazzini had asked his played to believe in their capacity to win and although they fell 2-0 down within 17 minutes and Sevilla played with some superb flair and conviction, the visitors fought back and after Ovidiu Petre pulled one back just past the hour, they came close to getting themselves off the mark in Group H.

Second-half transformation
Defender Ifeanyi Emeghara said: "We have come away from this defeat feeling that there was very little between our performance and gaining a shock result. The change in the second half performance was pretty dramatic and by the end I think we'd given a much more accurate account of ourselves. There is no doubt that confidence was the key. The second half saw us playing more to our natural style with greater pace and also pushing much higher up the pitch."

He reflected further: "It's disappointing to lose but now we have to concentrate on the fact that we have improved and there are three matches remaining for us to start scoring some points." Goalkeeper Robinson Zapata, who had kept the previously rampant Spanish team at bay, added: "The fact that Sevilla scored so early was damaging to us and it took until the second half for us to recover. But I think we are leaving here having learned that the gap between us and Sevilla was not so great after all."