Uğur Boral lauded Volkan Demirel after the Fenerbahçe SK No1's shoot-out saves atoned for earlier errors at Sevilla FC, telling uefa.com: "He won us the match."
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Fenerbahçe SK winger Uğur Boral was full of praise for goalkeeper Volkan Demirel after his colleague recovered from two early mistakes to emerge as the Istanbul club's saviour at Sevilla FC, where they advanced to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on penalties.
Defending a 3-2 lead from the first leg, the visitors seemed headed for elimination when Volkan fumbled long-range efforts from Daniel Alves and Seydou Keita in the opening nine minutes. The Turkish international was yet to make his most telling contribution, though, and after Brazilian forward Deivid struck either side of a Frédéric Kanouté strike for the hosts, the match entered 30 goalless minutes of extra time. With the tie still level at five goals apiece on aggregate, Volkan Demirel then pulled off three excellent penalty shoot-out saves to take his team into the last eight for the first time.
'Everyone makes mistakes'
"Volkan is a very good goalkeeper and I believe in him," Uğur Boral told uefa.com after the players had taken time to let their nerves settle. "OK, the first and second goals were down to his mistakes but these things can happen in a match. Everyone makes mistakes. I have total faith in Volkan and he showed us all why in the shoot-out. He won us the match with his saves and everyone in Turkey will be very excited."
The intense nature of the denouement will have surely brought back memories for watching UEFA President Michel Platini, whose France team went out on penalties against West Germany in a FIFA World Cup semi-final at the same stadium in 1982. "Of course, we kept believing," continued 25-year-old Uğur Boral, fresh from only his third appearance in the competition. "If you lose belief you're finished. I feel very honoured to be part of this team and I just hope I can be in the side for our next match."
The question of who they will be drawn against on 14 March is not a concern, however, according to substitute Ali Bilgin: "I don't mind because all the teams are big teams in the quarter-finals. We just want to see how far we can go. This is the furthest the club has been and we want to carry on. It is nice to be a part of history. There's going to be a big party when we get back to Turkey."