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Steaua exit leaves Lăcătuş low

FC Steaua Bucureşti coach Marius Lăcătuş said it was "a pity" his side's European season was over after their draw against SK Slavia Praha left them bottom of Group H.

Steaua's Dorin Goian (left) vies for the ball with Slavia's Gaucho
Steaua's Dorin Goian (left) vies for the ball with Slavia's Gaucho ©Getty Images

FC Steaua Bucureşti coach Marius Lăcătuş said it was "a pity" that his side's European season was over after they could only draw 1-1 against SK Slavia Praha in UEFA Champions League Group H. The result that left the tournament debutants in the UEFA Cup Round of 32, much to coach Karel Jarolím's delight.

Marius Lăcătuş, Steaua coach
It is such a pity that we did not win our first match in this season's Champions League. We dominated the match, created several opportunities, but unfortunately we did not manage to convert them and football punishes you after such moments. This was the case today. When Slavia scored it was their only shot on target. I am very pleased with the way we played in the first half, quickly and with style, just like our fans want to see. Maybe because of tiredness we could not continue this form in the second half. Slavia took advantage of the fact that we were a little bit tired and they improved their play and scored with their first opportunity after the break. Our players have proved in the past that they are very good players who can score goals, but at the moment we cannot not find the net. I am sure in the near future we will change this. I am upset that we did not at least make it into the UEFA Cup.

Karel Jarolím, Slavia coach
This result puts us into the UEFA Cup, although I have to admit that our first half display was not one we expected or would have wished for. We left too many spaces in defence and Steaua scored early, which caused a big problem for us. The early injury for [Michal] Švec was also a problem because I had to make a quick change which we found difficult to cope with. In the first half we did almost nothing in an attacking sense, we did not pass and we did not create any chances. In the second half we were much more motivated and committed. We started to create goalscoring opportunities and, fortunately, we equalised. Maybe we could have got a better result but it's a good result. Despite being without some key players, the boys who played today did their best so that the missing players were not noticed. They fought until the end and obtained this positive result. It's hard to say if we deserved this draw, but the important thing is that we achieved it. I think that the key to our qualification [for the UEFA Cup] was the victory in Prague against Steaua, followed by the important draws at home against Arsenal [FC] and today in Bucharest.