Olympiacos FC goalscorer Dudu said the Greek champions had taken a "very confident step" towards returning to the group stage after assuming control of their play-off against FC Sheriff with a 2-0 away victory.
Article top media content
Olympiacos FC goalscorer Dudu called on his side to do it all again next week after a 2-0 win at FC Sheriff put the Greek titleholders within touching distance of a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Second-half goals from Dudu and Kostas Mitroglou left Olympiacos in a strong position ahead of the second leg of their play-off in Athens next Wednesday and a repeat performance will take them back to the group stage after a one-year absence. "The home team played well, but Olympiacos were even better," Dudu said. "We got a great result in Moldova and all we need to do now is play well at home in front of our fans. Our task is to get through to the group stage. We took the first step towards achieving this goal and it was a very confident one."
Olympiacos midfielder Enzo Maresca added: "Sheriff showed they deserved their place in the Champions League play-off round. They played really well in the first half, but after the break we managed to score an early goal and that helped us earn a comfortable victory." Sheriff's Russian forward Aleksandr Erokhin, who is back to fitness after a serious head injury, felt it was a fair result. "We really wanted to get a good result, but the Greek side didn't allow us to do that," he said. "Olympiacos twice punished us for our mistakes, but we didn't take our chances at all."
Sheriff are bidding to become the first side from Moldva to reach the group stage, but goalkeeper Stanislav Namaşco agreed that mistakes could end up preventing them from realising that dream: "It's a pity we made some horrible errors, which both led to Olympiacos goals. We had scoring chances as well, but just couldn't take advantage of them. We showed in this match that we can compete with teams as big as Olympiacos, but we lack something that prevents us getting good results in those games."