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Popa keen on further Steaua progress

FC Steaua Bucureşti forward Adrian Popa is hoping for a favourable pairing in the round of 32 after his side secured top spot in Group E with a 1-1 draw against FC København.

Popa keen on further Steaua progress
Popa keen on further Steaua progress ©UEFA.com

"We would like an easy draw," said FC Steaua Bucureşti forward Adrian Popa after his team secured first place in UEFA Europa League Group E with a 1-1 stalemate against FC København. FCK's players, meanwhile, reflected on their failure to score the goal that would have put them through to the round of 32.  

Adrian Popa, Steaua forward
It was a very difficult match. We played well and are very happy to finish first in the group. The red card [for Cristian Tănase] motivated us and the team benefitted from that. Steaua qualify for the knockout stages year in, year out and we are very pleased by this. We are hoping to avoid some of the big clubs in the draw so we have a better chance of progressing in the competition.

Kim Christensen, FCK goalkeeper
We are very disappointed – we should have won the game. We had a couple of chances we should have scored from, and in Europe small things decide games. Now we have to focus on this weekend's match against FC Nordsjælland in the league.

Igor Vetokele, FCK forward
It was not our best match. The first half was very close and then in the second Steaua got a red card. The crowd was roaring us on and we really wanted to do something. The red card changed the game because they started defending deeper. It is very hard to take because we only needed one goal to qualify.

Ariël Jacobs, FCK coach
It was a campaign of ups and downs. We knew it was going to be pretty tight between all the teams. I thought that Stuttgart, coming from one of the major leagues, would lead from beginning to end in the group but this was not the case; it was really close. In the end it was decided on a photo finish. We must be honest – today we did not create many clear chances. The two goals we conceded against Steaua [Raul Rusescu's strike this evening and Ragnar Sigurdsson's own goal in the 1-0 loss on matchday two], which cost us five points, were one-offs.