Gent coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck spoke of his pride and happiness after the Belgian debutants sealed a place in the round of 16 by ending Zenit's 100% Group H record.
Article top media content
- Gent join already-qualified Zenit in round of 16 after 2-1 home victory
- Belgian debutants prevent Zenit achieving clean sweep of wins
- Gent's Hein Vanhaezebrouck "proud and happy" with his players' achievement
- Zenit coach André Villas-Boas "disappointed" to lose 100% record
- Round of 16 draw takes place at 12.00CET on Monday
Hein Vanhaezebrouck, Gent coach
Our start was good. Then we saw why Zenit are the group winners – they're a very clever team who play good football. We defended very well, our attacking line was also OK, but the midfield had it very difficult.
Then there was Nana Asare, who pulled the whole team through by balancing things out. Moses Simon was the deserved man of the match, but Asare was just as influential. We knew, because of the situation in Valencia, that a victory was not necessary but I am very pleased we won.
If you saw the reaction of Villas-Boas when they scored their equaliser, it was if they had won the cup. That shows how eager they were to get 18 points. Winning a match like this means I am very proud and happy for my players.
André Villas-Boas, Zenit coach
We are disappointed that we did not join the select group of teams to have qualified with six wins, but that does not devalue what we have already achieved. We now look forward to playing in the last 16. It was a dream to reach that round.
Artem Dzyuba did very well, and not only because of his goal. We missed Hulk because he is an important player, just like Real Madrid would miss Ronaldo and Barcelona would miss Messi. Every team depends on important players and we are no exception. Skilful players make the other ones better.
At this point the competition gets very difficult. For a Russian club it is a big advantage to play the second leg at home. One disadvantage will be that our first game [after the winter break] will be in the Champions League, so that is very tough. We will go to Qatar and Portugal and then play this game as our first official match. We need a good result and hope we can make it to the quarter-finals.