APOEL FC match winner Aílton reflected on "a great result and a very important goal" after a 2-1 victory over FC Zenit St Petersburg which left the Russian champions feeling bitter.
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Trailing to a 63rd-minute Konstantin Zyryanov strike, APOEL FC turned their UEFA Champions League Group G opener on its head in the space of three minutes as efforts by Gustavo Manduca and Aílton earned them a 2-1 win. APOEL midfielder Ivan Tričkovski admitted the Cypriot club had not expected such a good result, while Zyryanov and goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev were left to wonder where it all went wrong for the Russian champions.
Aílton, APOEL striker
All the players who were on the pitch today stood out. For us, it's a great result and a very important goal for me. It was a good feeling".
Ivan Tričkovski, APOEL midfielder
It was a very good game, where we played well and deserved to win. We created chances and we wanted the three points. Zenit are a very good team and we didn't expect to win, but it was something we wanted a lot. I would like to dedicate this win to my good friend and team-mate Christos Kontis [the Greek defender was forced to retire this summer due to a heart condition] who is next to us and supports us.
Nektarios Alexandrou, APOEL midfielder
It all happened so fast, but we handled the game well, although we did face difficult moments. We need to stay humble in the next games, so we can get what we deserve.
Athos Solomou, APOEL midfielder
This was my first appearance in the Champions League group stage. I am very satisfied with the win and it was an incredible experience. We are happy with the win and I hope we can maintain this rhythm in the next games.
Konstantin Zyryanov, Zenit midfielder
I can't explain why we conceded two goals in two minutes. It seems like we lost our concentration. APOEL are a good team, but as we go on in the tournament, all the teams have their chances, so nothing is lost for us.
Vyacheslav Malafeev, Zenit goalkeeper
APOEL's first goal was a lucky one, because [Hélio Pinto] meant to shoot, not pass [but the ball fell kindly for Manduca]. APOEL picked up the pace of the game in the second half, and we started to make mistakes in defence. APOEL seemed to play well above themselves, but this is the Champions League and they have extra motivation. We should play it simpler in defence when we are under pressure.