"Our will, heart and fighting spirit decided the game" said Slovakia scorer Juraj Kucka after a win that left Juanfran to regret that Spain missed "so, so many" chances.
Article top media content
• Juraj Kucka: "Our will, heart and fighting spirit decided the game"
• Ján Kozák thanks Slovakia for committed performance to beat Spain
• Defeat no disaster for Spain coach Vicente del Bosque
• Paco Alcácer: "There's still a lot of matches to turn this result around"
• Next games: Belarus v Slovakia, Luxembourg v Spain (12 October)
Juraj Kucka, Slovakia midfielder
Our will, heart and fighting spirit decided the game. They had more possession, for sure, but we fought until the end. We tried to fill the gaps, especially in midfield. We played aggressively – we wanted to win. Of course, there was a little bit of luck involved too.
We had promising start, held the score at 1-0 for a long time, and Koza [Matúš Kozáčik] made a lot of fantastic saves.
After equalising, Spain put on more pressure, but we felt we still had a chance to score again. It is a great feeling. I didn't expect six points after two qualifying games. We were in a good mood after the first victory in Ukraine. Now we are extremely happy.
Matúš Kozáčik, Slovakia goalkeeper
It was very tough game against a top-quality team. I expected them to create a lot of chances. They were very aggressive. But we played as a team and we managed to take our chances, so we won.
Ján Kozák, Slovakia coach
I am thrilled. We put in a fantastic performance in front of a full stadium. I hope we pleased our fans. This win is very precious – Spain have not lost a qualifier in eight years. Our players put in a very brave performance.
We fought very hard and gave our best, especially at the back. All the boys made a fantastic effort and played until the final whistle. People will say Spain underestimated us, but that is not true. We made Spain put maximum effort into the game. They gave us some hard times – [Matúš] Kozáčik in goal showed his class late in the first half and several times in the second. We had players suffering from cramp, but they battled through the pain and made the whole country happy.
Martin Škrtel, Slovakia defender
We knew before the game we couldn't play open against Spain because the quality was on their side. We had to be compact at the back and then try to go to the open spaces on the counterattack. We played well, we scored the first goal, we were leading all game, but Spain moved the ball well. Of course we knew they had the quality but we showed that with character and commitment you can get three points.
Our keeper had a great game and I'm happy for him because he's not being picked for a while, but he's had the last two international games and tonight he made some very, very important saves. It's a great performance from him.
Vicente del Bosque, Spain coach
We deserved to get at least a draw. We did our best to overcome the Slovak defence, had good opportunities, but were not successful in the end. It is our first [qualifying] defeat for a very long time. It does not come at the best time, but we have to cope with this situation. We should not think about this defeat for too long.
We did not create that many opportunities today. We had the match under control but conceded two goals. We were running out of energy towards the end. We lacked depth in our game. We tried to bring on players to change the flow, to create more chances and get into the area, but we could not manage it today.
It is only the second game of the campaign. Slovakia have six points but the group is not decided yet. They are top but I do not think this game was decisive. Compared with the most recent games, compared with many games in the past, it did not work out today. We should not get too carried away about this defeat.
They did what they are good at. They relied on their strengths. Throw-ins, free-kicks, a packed defence when they needed to ... they were positionally very sound. They made the night uncomfortable for us and we didn't know how to finish them off. In the end, instead of the draw, we've lost because we were determined to go for the win.
Juanfran, Spain defender
We needed just a sliver of luck in finishing all those chances we created. We had so, so many of them. Their keeper had the game of his life. I truly don't think we deserve to leave this stadium defeated but we congratulate Slovakia for their performance and the three points.
Sunday is a must-win game now. We are disappointed and we'll go over it again and again tonight. But by the morning we'll find the way to take the positives out of our display and we'll look to take three points on Sunday. I don't think we'll treat this like it is the end of the world.
Paco Alcácer, Spain striker
Slovakia weren't up to much in the first half and got a goal through a set piece. In the second half we went on the attack and one counterattack from them made it 2-1. There's still a lot of games left to turn this result around. This defeat will help to ensure that this doesn't happen again.