Sevilla FC duo Álvaro Negredo and Didier Zokora paid tribute to PFC CSKA Moskva despite the disappointment of their club's elimination from the UEFA Champions League by the Army Men.
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Sevilla FC duo Álvaro Negredo and Didier Zokora were magnanimous in defeat after PFC CSKA Moskva left the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium with a 2-1 victory and a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Tomáš Necid (39) and Keisuke Honda (55) were on target for the visitors either side of Diego Perotti's 41st-minute equaliser, leaving Sevilla chasing two goals to qualify. Among the five strikers on the pitch for the Andalusian outfit in the last 15 minutes was substitute Negredo, who said: "CSKA had their game plan and they played their cards well. I have to say they played really well, very calmly and never got nervous.
"Everything seemed to come off for them," continued the Spain forward. "This is a good CSKA team we've lost to, and they are particularly strong on the counterattack. We just didn't seem able to get into the game. We kept looking for openings but just couldn't create the chances to score. We're obviously very sad because we were so hungry to get to the last eight for the first time."
Instead that honour went to a CSKA outfit who brought out the best in Sevilla midfielder Zokora. The Ivorian international put in numerous saving tackles while his team-mates searched for creative solutions. However, it was little compensation for the 29-year-old to know he had played well in defeat.
"This game was so important for the city, the players and the fans and I'm so angry not to have qualified," said Zokora. "I think we played well, in fact fantastic, for 50 minutes and stayed both strong and compact after their first goal. Even though we were back in it when we equalised, CSKA played really well and the second half was very difficult for us. What we have to do is concentrate on finishing high in the Liga and winning the final of the Copa del Rey."