Genk depart with heads high after Leverkusen draw

Mario Been said that KRC Genk gave a good account of themselves after bowing out of the UEFA Champions League with a third home draw against Group E runners-up Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Genk depart with heads high after Leverkusen draw
Genk depart with heads high after Leverkusen draw ©

Mario Been, Genk coach
On home turf we proved we truly belong in the Champions League. We came pretty close to victory here, too. We began fairly defensively, and then went 1-0 up. As the match developed we starting running backwards too often, perhaps a little in awe of Leverkusen's quality. We lost our focus only once but it was enough: the ball was in the net.

Still, I am proud coach of what my players have shown. Before the match I underlined to them that we had to give something to our fans. And I think our supporters left the stadium and headed home in good spirit. At home we have proven that we are worthy of the Champions League; sadly in away matches we failed to.

Robin Dutt, Leverkusen coach
I'm satisfied we advanced to the knockout stage, but I'm not happy with today's result. Our first-half performance was especially poor. We had a lot of possession but we were completely unable to apply pressure. I said during the break that we really needed to follow up the first pass – my players implemented that.

The second half was decent and we deserved our equaliser. Genk scored out of nowhere after half an hour but in the last 20 minutes we put them under pressure. Still, we need to thank [goalkeeper] Bernd Leno, who eventually forced the draw for us.

I can certainly differentiate between this match and the group stage overall. Today I was a bit annoyed with my team, but looking at our group campaign as a whole, I must compliment them. We will take the [round of 16] draw as it comes. Barcelona are not the only tough draw; APOEL have qualities as well. We can't underestimate anyone.

Related Items