"We lost this tie in Turkey," sighed S.S. Lazio's Senad Lulić while the final now looms large for Fenerbahçe SK's Dirk Kuyt who said: "People are already starting to ask about tickets."
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Dirk Kuyt says ticket requests are already starting to pour in from friends and family in his native Netherlands after his Fenerbahçe SK side moved one step closer to the UEFA Europa League final in Amsterdam.
Thursday's 1-1 draw at S.S. Lazio secured a 3-1 aggregate win and a first qualification for a European semi-final for Fenerbahçe. Meanwhile, Lazio defender Senad Lulić could not hide his disappointment at going out, but said the damage had been done a week ago in Istanbul rather than in Rome.
Dirk Kuyt, Fenerbahçe forward
It's getting closer and closer and people are already starting to ask about tickets, but that's not the way I think. I think one step at a time. Today it was a very big step because it was a very difficult game for us, but we survived it because of a very good result last week.
When they scored it was very difficult and we knew if we could score a goal, we would make it a lot easier for ourselves and that's what we did, so we're very happy and proud. It's a historic day for Fenerbahçe. It's the first time in the history of this club that we reached the semi-finals, and how better can it be than to do it in a historic city like Rome.
They have had some very good results during the tournament, but when you are 2-0 up, psychologically it's easier just to defend. You see it with bigger teams, for example Bayern München were playing at home a couple of weeks ago against Arsenal and they did the same and made it difficult for themselves.
I think we made it a little bit difficult today, but it's normal. I think it's a mental question, but like I said, we've done our job. It wasn't easy, but we knew from the start it wouldn't be easy and we survived it and it's a proud day for all of us.
Joseph Yobo, Fenerbahçe defender
We're in three tournaments and we've made history today – it's been a great season so far. They forced us to defend because we had a 2-0 lead. They were playing at home so we expected that. We thought that if we could come out of the first half with a 0-0, that was going to help us – but credit to them, I think they forced us to the limit.
I think it helped a little to have our fans in the first leg. It's always difficult when you get to the knockout phase. Whoever you meet, it's always going to be tough.
Libor Kozák, Lazio forward
We're really disappointed because we were so close after our goal. We really wanted to get another. Then they just had one shot on goal and it went in, and that was decisive. Things didn't go our way. I don't think they were any better than us. Maybe we should have calmed things down a bit, but we wanted to attack instead and were really motivated, yet then they scored and that was it.
Now we've got to look ahead. We've got Juventus [on Sunday] and we've got to think of that, think of the league. Further ahead, we've got the final of the Coppa Italia and we've got to keep on fighting.
Federico Marchetti, Lazio goalkeeper
We played a great game and we're disappointed, because we deserved the satisfaction of going through. It's a shame but that's football. I'm sorry but congratulations to Fenerbahçe who have gone through. It's a pity about today because we certainly deserved more, but we move on. It's a blow but we're strong and we'll keep fighting until the end, believing we can win a trophy.
Senad Lulić, Lazio defender
We lost this tie in Turkey. We had a great attitude and we tried all we could today, taking the lead, but we didn't finish them off. We showed character today and we tried all we could, yet it wasn't enough. It wasn't important for me to score. It's annoying that we go out to a side no stronger than us, but we need to look ahead. We lost this game in the first leg, not tonight.