Nani regrets late Sporting slip-up at Maribor

Sporting Clube de Portugal scorer Nani was left to rue a late mistake by his side which allowed Luka Zahovič to level for NK Maribor and complete a "dream debut".

Nani regrets late Sporting slip-up at Maribor
Nani regrets late Sporting slip-up at Maribor ©

Sporting winger Nani believes his side were unlucky after conceding late equaliser
Maribor's Luka Zahovič enjoys "dream debut" after scoring in first competition appearance
Home coach Ante Šimundža reckons draw was fair result
• Marco Silva says Sporting dropped two points after letting lead slip
Next games: Schalke v Maribor, Sporting v Chelsea (30 September)

Nani, Sporting winger
I think it was a great performance, apart from the mistake we made in the last minute. I think over the 90 minutes we were better than Maribor and we created more chances. We could have scored a second goal. We were unlucky, but this is football. Sometimes one mistake can cause you to draw. We have to keep working hard and focus on the next game.

Maybe we should have shown a little more experience, a little more patience with the ball, kept the ball and tried to be more aggressive defensively at the end. We could not do that and that gave them a chance to score.

Luka Zahovič, Maribor forward
It was a dream debut for me. It was a good team performance. It is very important that we started our campaign in the right way and I think a draw in this game is fair. Of course, this is a big point. This is the best tournament there is in the world. We do not predict where we will be at the end. We just want to go from game to game, to enjoy the matches, and in the end if we do well, we will be satisfied.

Ante Šimundža, Maribor coach
We have seen a match with a very high tempo. But that is the UEFA Champions League. Of course Sporting could have won, but we had our chances too, so three points could have been ours. Technically Sporting are a very, very strong team but in the end the draw is a fair result.

We knew they would take the initiative. We needed almost half an hour to get into the groove, then we looked much better. We had problems again in the last 20 minutes when we conceded, but as you have seen Maribor never surrender. Luka Zahovič proved he is a natural striker.

Marco Silva, Sporting coach
I must admit that I cannot be satisfied with the result. In fact, I believe we dropped two points. We had more of the game, more possession, we were more dangerous, but unfortunately we conceded an equaliser just before the whistle. I fully support the team as it is, I fully support them, I stand up for the boys, I trust them 100%. But on the other hand I also understand any criticism. The man of the match for me was Nani, who once again proved he is a great player. But he cannot do everything on his own, he did not have enough help from some other players tonight.