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Ben Haim delighted, Cyprus take pride

Israel captain Tal Ben Haim was thrilled to earn "an amazing three points" with a 2-1 win in Nicosia, with Vincent Laban adamant Cyprus must "carry on playing this way".

Ben Haim delighted, Cyprus take pride
Ben Haim delighted, Cyprus take pride ©UEFA.com

Israel captain Tal Ben Haim thrilled at "an amazing three points"
Vincent Laban impressed by Cyprus's "team spirit"
Marios Antoniades on fans: "We need them for our remaining matches"
Next games: Wales v Cyprus, Andorra v Israel (13 October)

Tal Ben Haim, Israel defender
I thought we had a fantastic first half and created some good chances. The second half, we had fewer opportunities but still missed three good chances to score. In the end, what mattered was the three points.

They came out stronger after they scored because it gave them a lot of confidence. We dropped back but still defended well against a good team that had managed to beat Bosnia and Herzegovina away. So that's why we are happy with the three points.

It's an amazing three points but now we travel to Andorra where it will be tough because it will be the first time that we – as a national team – will play on a synthetic pitch. But we will try to do our best over there to come back with the three points.

Charalampos Christodoulou, Cyprus coach
First of all, I would like to thank the Cyprus fans. We have never played in front of such a big crowd – I'm sorry about the defeat. The first half, we didn't play well and made a lot of mistakes which cost us two goals. The second half was completely different – my players made a huge effort and we had three good chances. I think we deserved a point.

Our goalkeeper Antonis Giorgallides got injured in the first 10–15 minutes but kept playing, and that shows his desire to play and help his team.

Vincent Laban, Cyprus midfielder
It was obviously disappointing to lose. We made some mistakes and conceded two goals, which made it difficult for us to come back. But we tried, we pushed, and we were close to doing it, but unfortunately it was not to be.

We need to make sure we carry on playing this way and maintain this team spirit. I'm sure it is going to pay off. That team spirit [is a positive heading into the next game against Wales]. The guys are very tired tonight – they gave everything, and that goes for the fans too. We have to continue with this mentality and I am sure the results will come.

Marios Antoniades, Cyprus defender
We threw away the first half because we made two mistakes and conceded two goals. We upped the pressure after half-time and managed to score. We could have drawn level but missed our chances. That's football. Had we managed to score the second, I believe we would have gone on to win.

We don't have any time to dwell on this result as we have another game right around the corner. I hope we can get the three points in Wales. The huge number of people that came to support us was heartening. I can never remember seeing so many fans at a Cyprus game. I want to thank them for that. We may have disapointed them but we need them for our remaining games. We will try to give them something to celebrate.

Eli Gutman, Israel coach
In the first half we played really well – fast and skilful. In the second half we missed a lot of chances, but what really matters is that we allowed Cyprus to get back into the game. That was very dangerous. But to sum up the whole match, we were the better side and my players had one of their best games yet.