CFR 1907 Cluj achieved their modest aim of not losing against AS Roma in their final Group E fixture, with the Giallorossi delighted to be heading into the round of 16 as "golden underdogs".
Article top media content
Stand-in CFR 1907 Cluj coach Alin Minteuan admitted his side's primary aim against AS Roma was "not to lose" as he reflected on a 1-1 Group E draw which confirmed the visitors' place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Giallorossi boss Claudio Ranieri missed the post-match press conference with a sore throat, but his assistant branded Roma as the "golden underdogs" of knockout stage.
Alin Minteuan, CFR caretaker coach
We got a draw which we worked very hard for, and again we suffered from not managing to convert chances. Maybe the result would have been a different one if we had kept our composure in front of goal. But in the end we achieved what we wanted – our main target for today: not to lose.
I have faith in all of our players and I congratulate them for the way they played and for the result. We tried to impose our style of play today, but we did not manage to do so that often. It is true that a Romanian, [Roma goalkeeper] Bogdan Lobonţ, played his part in the draw, and the fact that we didn't score more goals.
Christian Damiano, Roma assistant coach
We did what we had to do: we qualified. That was an important target for us. Tonight's draw was really important both for the team and the club. The home defeat against Basel made our path difficult in the Champions League, but the team's response after that game was strong and we put in good displays in Switzerland, against Bayern and here at Cluj.
Now I think we can be considered the golden underdogs of the tournament, as we can beat anyone over two legs. We still have to improve, though; we have conceded too many goals in the final minutes of our games. We have to stay focused until the final whistle.