FC Shakhtar Donetsk's Valeriy Kryventsov, Viktor Kovalenko and Denys Arendaruk reflect on the defeat of RSC Anderlecht: "Our country was thinking about us."
Article top media content
Valeriy Kryventsov, Shakhtar coach
By advancing further, we are gaining invaluable experience and are assessing our players and how we perform. Are we on the right track? Are we teaching our lads the right things?
We were up against decent opponents, but it looked to me that we were tactically more flexible, and because of that we got the result. Overall, both the atmosphere and the surroundings were great. We are very happy to be here and doubly happy that we've progressed. We are participating for the second year in a row and will try to do everything possible in order to participate next season.
Viktor Kovalenko, Shakhtar midfielder
It is a very important result both for the club and for everyone who works there. It is not for nothing that Shakhtar are considered one of the best clubs in Europe. The most important moments were the substitutions, which influenced the outcome of the game. The coach felt that we could go on at that moment and get the result, which is what happened.
It would have been very painful for us had we lost this game. As it is, now we're going to play in the final and we have the chance to get the result that we came here for.
Denys Arendaruk, Shakhtar forward
This result is very important because the whole country was thinking about us – starting with family and friends and even going as far as the general public. Of course, it was nice that there were a lot of spectators, but this is not the first time – I've experienced a match on the international stage with the national team, too.
It has an effect on your future because when you play in these competitions and against these opponents, you develop. Of course, we would like to win, but we are already there as one of the best two teams in Europe.
Mohamed Ouahbi, Anderlecht coach
I'm really, really disappointed. I made a short speech at the end of the match and my players had taken [the defeat] hard. That's good, they are real competitors, they really wanted to play in the final. They did so well to get here; they said to themselves – and I thought this too – that if they got to the final it would have been deserved.
They have given so much, for the club and for the supporters. We've been through real emotions; this is a huge competition for us. We've done great and that will be even clearer when we look back on this later. We are very disappointed, but we are very proud of what we've done here.
It is a fantastic tournament. This is my 11th season with Anderlecht and I've had the chance to participate in lots of different tournaments, for all age groups. This is a great one. We're really close to the top level. It helps the youngsters, being close to the level of adults.