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Shakhtar's Rybka hands plaudits to APOEL

FC Shakhtar Donetsk keeper Olexandr Rybka hailed opposite number Dionisios Chiotis and the visiting defence after the 1-1 draw that left a celebratory APOEL FC top of Group G.

Aílton (right) takes on Shakhtar defender Olexandr Kucher
Aílton (right) takes on Shakhtar defender Olexandr Kucher ©Getty Images

The FC Shakhtar Donetsk players were far from satisfied with their 1-1 draw against surprise UEFA Champions League Group G leaders APOEL FC, whose defenders earned praise from home goalkeeper Olexandr Rybka. Among that number were former FC Metalurh Donetsk left-back William Boaventura and Player Rater Top player Paulo Jorge, who are enjoying their team's lofty status.

Olexandr Rybka, Shakhtar goalkeeper
We knew beforehand that APOEL were not as easy as some people had imagined. You know many journalists and supporters like to make predictions, causally naming favourites and underdogs, but we saw on matchday one that APOEL are wrongly considered underdogs. Nowadays every team entering the Champions League can put on an excellent performance. They can defend perfectly and attack very quickly.

APOEL have many talented and experienced players. They always tried to steal the ball and create a good counterattack, and in the second half they succeeded. Their defenders played exceptionally, as well as their goalkeeper who is good enough to be chosen for the team of the year.

Darijo Srna, Shakhtar defender
We created many chances, but failed to score. Sometimes such things happen. This is football, you know. If you don't score, be sure your opponents will. That's the law which everyone knows.

Shakhtar played quite well. We attacked for 90 minutes and controlled the game, but they scored. However, we were lucky to equalise quickly. We dropped two important points, but we still have four matches left. Of course Shakhtar are able to improve the situation. In the next game against Zenit we simply need to score more goals.

Tomáš Hübschman, Shakhtar midfielder
The coach prepared us for a tough match, although we thought that APOEL would play more open football. We tried to deprive them of the opportunity to attack and they defended very well. I think we should be more aggressive in the penalty box. I hope this result won't affect our performances in the coming matches.

William Boaventura, APOEL defender
It was great for me to return to Donetsk, especially because we have managed to get a point here. We believe in ourselves and can do something even better. We're going to fight to reach the knockout stage or at least the Europa League. We will do our best, so whatever happens we are grateful for what we have achieved so far.

We knew that Shakhtar have some excellent players – the Brazilians and [Henrik] Mkhitaryan who used to play with me at Metalurh Donetsk. I believe they can do much better, so nothing is decided yet. It's great to be at the top of the group, because before the start nobody was expecting us to get the points. Now we just have to enjoy being at the top.

Paulo Jorge, APOEL defender
We knew from the beginning that Shakhtar are a big team with very good players. APOEL did a good job tonight. It was difficult especially towards the end, but we managed to get a draw.

We have a very tough group. There are still four difficult games to play. We will try to win every match, but today we are satisfied with the draw. As you saw Shakhtar played quite well. They have very good players in midfield and are very strong as a team.

Ivan Tričkovski, APOEL striker
We are very happy with the result. It was difficult game but we knew we needed to defend and counterattack. We could have won the game but the draw was still a great result for us. Our results speak for themselves and it is unbelievable that we are top. But we need to continue this momentum.

Constantinos Charalambides, APOEL midfielder
Everybody was celebrating this result in the dressing room. Tonight we didn't manage to hold the ball as much as we would have liked but these are Champions League games and sometimes you have to accept that when you play quality opponents. This point is crucial; I believe we have made Cyprus proud and made all of Europe take notice.

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