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Advocaat relieved, Goncharenko happy to learn

FC Zenit St. Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat was in no doubt about the importance of his team's 2-0 win at FC BATE Borisov while home coach Viktor Goncharenko says he is just valuing the experience of the competition.

Vladimir Rzhevski (left) tracks Zenit striker Pavel Pogrebnyak
Vladimir Rzhevski (left) tracks Zenit striker Pavel Pogrebnyak ©Getty Images

Viktor Goncharenko, BATE coach
Of course I feel some grief about the defeat. But the main thing is the experience we get in this matches and then to force each opponent to take us seriously. I cannot say that Zenit's performance surprised me as they played like that at FC Krylya Sovetov Samara in the Russian league recently, winning 3-0. If we had more experience we could have taken advantage when Zenit were down to ten men. Perhaps there was the danger of counterattacks against such a pacy team as Zenit and at the end we conceded another goal. But I say once again that we are gaining experience and looking into the future with much optimism.

Possibly we had too much respect for Zenit. I do not want to blame anybody, but if [Dmitri] Likhtarovich had made that tackle in the first half in Zenit's half we would not have conceded the first goal. It is not always the case that the team with the best statistics win. We probably had more possession today, made more passes and outplayed Zenit in some other areas, but the result is 2-0 to Zenit. That is football. Sometimes you are lucky and then fortune turns its back on you. We were a bit lucky in St Petersburg and got a draw, but today we lost when the game was equal.

Dick Advocaat, Zenit coach
I said yesterday that it would be a key game, that it would be very difficult for the losing team to come back while the winning team would still have the chance to do something. I am very pleased with the way we played, and especially with the win, though the group is still open. The key element in our victory was the timing of our goals.