Vrba: I couldn't imagine a better ending
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
FC Viktoria Plzeň coach Pavel Vrba said "the 90th minute was a fantastic full stop to my stay" as his last game at the club ended with a dramatic win over PFC CSKA Moskva.
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Pavel Vrba, coach Plzen
I think we started the game well. [Milan] Petržela and [Michal] Ďuriš got into promising positions behind their defence, but did not come up with quick solutions. Then there was a phase of the game where we were lucky, especially with that one-on-one [with Ahmed Musa] when our keeper Matúš Kozáčik saved us. We managed to block the rebound at the very last second.
In the second half tactical football took over and it became very difficult after we conceded the opening goal. Then the end of the match was influenced by the red card, which allowed us to go forward more decisively and send more attacking players into the game off the bench. We outnumbered CSKA in their box and it paid off as we managed to turn the scoreline in our favour.
The 90th minute was a fantastic full stop to my stay in Plzeň, I will remember it all my life. We qualified for European football's spring campaign [via the UEFA Europa League] for the third time in a row, which is a historic achievement for a Czech team. My players did not give up, but intensified their efforts and were duly rewarded. I have to admit I was ecstatic at that moment. I could not imagine a better ending to five great years, coming out as a winning coach in such a dramatic game.
Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
We should have killed the game off, but instead we went a man down. [Alan] Dzagoev's dismissal was the key moment. I think it was a fair decision from the referee. That incident changed the whole flow of the match. We ran out of steam and concentration and couldn't stop our opponents.
After we scored we dropped back, because the scoreline was good for us. We could have scored much earlier, we had a number of chances on the counterattack. After the introduction of [Keisuke] Honda – his knee was troubling him and he couldn't play a full match – we took full control of the game.