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Tavares aglow after Maribor hold APOEL

Tavares was "very happy" after his strike earned NK Maribor a draw at APOEL FC, while Željko Filipovič said they would put their guests "through hell and back" in Slovenia.

Tavares aglow after Maribor hold APOEL
Tavares aglow after Maribor hold APOEL ©UEFA.com

Striker Tavares claimed divine assistance for his goal after NK Maribor came away from his old side APOEL FC with a valuable 1-1 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first-leg draw on Wednesday. His Maribor team-mate Željko Filipovič predicted the Cypriot champions would "go through hell and back" in next week's return in Slovenia, though APOEL's Nuno Morais – reflecting on "a bad result for us" – felt his side still have the class to turn things around.

Tavares, Maribor forward
I'm very happy because the team did very well and 1-1 is an excellent result away from home. I'm delighted to have scored the goal and to have helped our team get a positive start here in Cyprus. The second leg will be a really tough game – I know this APOEL team – but we will be focused. We will do all we can to win and progress. I'm very happy and very blessed. God helped me with this goal, and I hope in the next game God will bless me again.

Željko Filipovič, Maribor midfielder
We are very happy as we expected a very hard match. The 1-1 scoreline is a great confidence booster for us, so they will have to go through hell and back at the Ljudski vrt on Tuesday. Our intention is to not lose the game, but I hope we play well enough to score at least once. Our chances are 50-50, but we always perform well in front of our fans so, while it will be a very good and challenging match, I believe we will make it through.

Nuno Morais, APOEL midfielder
Now we have to go there and get a result. However, our target is always to win every game so this is no different. We will just go there and try to win in order to get through. It was a bad result for us. I think we deserved much more. We had a very good game. We controlled it – they created one chance and scored from it – but we only scored one goal ourselves. So the result is not good, but we are happy with our performance and we will go there to try to give our best again and get the result we want.

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