Anderson Polga insists Sporting Clube de Portugal will want to finish their Group C campaign on a high after seal their progress with a game to spare by beating LOSC Lille Métropole.
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Sporting Clube de Portugal may have secured top spot in UEFA Europa League Group C and their round of 32 place with a 1-0 success over LOSC Lille Métropole, but according to match-winner Anderson Polga there will be no let-up in their final game.
Defender Polga scored on 28 minutes in Lisbon to seal Sporting's 100th UEFA competition victory and ease the pressure ahead of their trip to PFC Levski Sofia on 16 December. "We want to win in Sofia," the 31-year-old Brazilian international stressed.
"We must continue working hard and try to win in Sofia as we did in Lille [on Matchday 1]. It will be a difficult assignment but we want the win." The long-serving centre-back added of his first goal of the season: "Maybe I'm a bit happier than my colleagues because I got the goal that helped us to a very important victory. It was an important goal, because it gave us a historic win in European competition."
Fellow defender João Pereira took pride in the team ethic that earned Sporting's fourth win in the section. "We were very good defensively throughout the side, not just the back line," he said. "Fortunately we were able to score and got a well-deserved victory. Now we try to win in Sofia. Some say our group isn't that strong but the truth is these teams are all very well-placed in their leagues so credit to us."
Lille, meanwhile, will go into their last fixture at home to KAA Gent trailing the second-placed Belgian outfit by two points and requiring a victory to join Sporting in the last 32. "
We now have to give everything in the last match to qualify," the Ligue 1 club's defender Emerson said.
"We did everything to avoid defeat today against a very strong side and we knew it was very difficult to play them here. A draw would have been good and we had several chances, but we conceded very early and that affected us. Now we must beat Gent to go through."
However, goalkeeper Mickaël Landreau is looking forward to the decider. "We lost and now we will have a true final at home against Gent. This is what we wanted – to decide our fate at home."