FC Unirea Urziceni midfielder Iulian Apostol said he was so well briefed about VfB Stuttgart he dreamt about them the night before, but a momentary lapse cost the Romanian champions victory.
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Iulian Apostol said FC Unirea Urziceni were so well briefed about VfB Stuttgart that he dreamt about how to approach the game in the lead-up to Matchday 2. Yet the midfielder added that a brief lapse cost them the chance of a historic first victory in the UEFA Champions League.
Serdar Tasci escaped attention in the penalty area in the fifth minute to give the Bundesliga team the chance to take the lead at the Steaua Stadium. It should have supplied a platform to take maximum points back to Germany, but instead Stuttgart were also left regretting the win that slipped away. Both teams were in agreement afterwards that they had passed up a golden opportunity.
"We didn't win a point – we lost two," was the damning verdict of Apostol. "We showed we can do it and that we have hope for the future. We can do it for sure with confidence, commitment and harmony. We studied Stuttgart so much, more than any other team. After so much analysis I have been dreaming about their team in my sleep and if we had been more attentive we could have won the match."
Serban Dacian Varga, who struck a fine equaliser three minutes after the interval, agreed that the UEFA Champions League debutants could have done much more. "It was a chain mistake for their goal but after that we dominated and we were firmly convinced we could win," he said. "We could have done more – everyone inside the stadium or watching on television could see we dominated the game."
Stuttgart captain Thomas Hitzlsperger praised Unirea's performance, but added: "We were not at our best. We did not convert our advantage at 1-0 but they played well and scored a nice goal." It was not a happy homecoming for VfB's Romanian international Ciprian Marica who missed from close in during the second half before being substituted. He said it was a "disappointing" result, adding: "The opponent was strong and it was a fair result." With Sevilla FC winning 4-1 away to Rangers FC to claim maximum points after two games, Marica believes the outcome at the top of Group G is clear cut. "Sevilla are favourites for first place – that's obvious and the rest of us are all fighting for second," added the Bucharest-born striker.