Aalborg BK's Mathias Wichmann said allowing visitors APOEL FC to equalise for a 1-1 draw was "a huge blow" while Nuno Morais spoke of his side's defensive plan.
Article top media content
• Aalborg BK's Mathias Wichmann is left frustrated
• AaB coach Kent Nielsen feels they should have scored more
• Nuno Morais says APOEL FC did their defensive job
• Visiting coach Giorgos Donis hails a "positive result"
• The return leg is next Tuesday in Nicosia
Mathias Wichmann, AaB midfielder
Of course it's a huge blow for us [to concede an equaliser]. I thought we controlled the game and we would have loved to see out the 1-0 win but unfortunately that's not the case. We still have a big opportunity.
That's a big question [as to why they didn't take more chances]. I think the hardest part of football is scoring goals and we scored one today and maybe we should have scored two or three. I think the positive is that we created the chances, so I'm pleased with that bit of course. But when we go to Cyprus we need to score more than one.
I think [APOEL] are pretty well organised but we still have a good chance. They are not the strongest team I have met but they are pretty strong. I'm just looking forward to seeing the atmosphere down there. Hopefully we can go through.
Kent Nielsen, AaB coach
All in all we are quite pleased with the performance but not so much with the result. I think we showed some international experience even though we do not have a lot and it was a promising match from our point of view. I feel we were a bit unfortunate with our defending for their equaliser and we should have managed to score more than once but we were not clinical enough when it mattered. We played a strong match and prevented them from creating much.
I am sure we can go to Nicosia and play an even match. The tie is not finished yet. The game will probably be a bit like this one as APOEL have a result. I expect them to sit back and defend like today, but their amazing fans will urge them forward so maybe that will affect them. We know they can play a more pressing style so we will prepare for both scenarios. If the match was 50-50 before today, then it is probably 55-45 in their favour now.
Nuno Morais, APOEL midfielder
We are satisfied that we did a good job today. We were prepared for this kind of game. We knew Aalborg were very good on the ball, so we met our target today. We closed down all the space and we were a very organised team defensively and tried to counterattack to create our chances. It was not possible to make a lot of them but we managed to make a few and we scored a goal and that was important.
We didn't want only to score on the counterattack. When we have the ball we like to play, we are a team that like to play, we like to keep the ball. We tried to do it but, OK, we played against a good side. They also kept the ball very well and when they kept the ball, we came back. We stayed very closed. We didn't leave any space for them to score.
We will watch the game again to see what we can improve or not. We will analyse everything to try to be better. When we play at home, we have our fans. We also are very confident on our pitch. Everything is special there. We have great fans. They support us a lot. When we play at home we have to play well.
Giorgos Donis, APOEL coach
It was a positive result for us, but we still have a difficult battle to qualify. We play the next match at home with our fans and we will prepare for a very big game. In the first half today we were too cautious and not tough enough. We made some bad decisions and did not show enough character, maybe because of the fact that we have not played a lot of games so far. I do not think AaB managed to really threaten us though.
After the break we pressed a bit higher up the field which helped us control the game better as we did not give AaB any space which had been the problem when we played [at HJK] Helsinki. We did an excellent job with our rhythm, passed well and looked dangerous. We got an important away goal and a good result. It is still a difficult game on Tuesday against a very good side. A team that plays the same way on the road as they do at home, so we expect them to play like they did today.