FC Rossiyanka eliminated Russian rivals FC Energiya Voronezh but coach Tatiana Egorova was disappointed to draw the home second leg while the visiting players thanked their fans.
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FC Rossiyanka comfortably eliminated Russian rivals FC Energiya Voronezh to reach the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals, but coach Tatiana Egorova was disappointed to draw the second leg and plans an improvement before March.
Rossiyanka had won last week's away leg 4-0 and Christiane and Elena Morozova increased the domestic league leaders' advantage in the first ten minutes before the Brazilian struck again late in the half after Emueje Ogbiagbevha had pulled one back. However, former Rossiyanka pair Elena Terekhova and Elena Danilova scored in the second half and they both took pride from Energiya's performance despite the end of their campaign.
Tatiana Egorova, Rossiyanka coach
We lost concentration after the break, especially in the middle of the second half. That big victory in Voronezh had an effect. After we got a comfortable 3-1 lead we must have thought that everything was over and sat back too deep in defence. We gave our opponents too much space and conceded twice as a result. If we count the chances then we had the advantage. Before the break we created three very good chances we should have taken.
All in all, I'm happy with the outcome of the two-match battle, but the end of the second half today left a bitter taste. There will be no easy opponents in the next round, but we would like to avoid Turbine Potsdam and Olympique Lyonnais. Now we have some time to work on our weaknesses. We plan to strengthen in the winter, but it's too early to talk about it. We'll get to it in late November.
Natalia Shlyapina, Rossiyanka forward
In the second half we surrendered a bit physically. The pitch was tough, the weather as well, but it was the same for both teams. Maybe we didn't play correctly tactically and big spaces between the lines started to appear from time to time. Sometimes they simply tore us apart. You always play for a victory at home and you're not allowed to give it away after leading 3-1.
I think Rossiyanka can win the Champions League. We were active in the transfer market and signed some top players. We now have time to rest and after that we'll prepare and try to put on a solid performance.
Elena Danilova, Voronezh forward
Obviously it was much harder for us at home, where we lost a player to a red card. This game was special for us. When we went on to the pitch to warm up and saw the fans, our spirits rose. If we had not conceded early on it would have been a completely different story. We fought until the end and missed some clear opportunities. We strove to win but lacked just a little, probably because we got tired, though I reckon this match was a personal victory. But the team are still disappointed as we all wanted to reach the quarter-finals.
Elena Terekhova, Voronezh midfielder
We had just one goal today – to win. We had nothing to lose. The 4-0 home defeat definitely had its effect. We needed to do everything to bring home a victory, yet failed to do so. This draw sugar-coated the heavy defeat last week a bit, but we could have played better.
I want to apologise to the fans for that match. It's the first year where we have received such great support. We felt this support and we need it. As for the result, things like this happen. That's football. We will try to do better next season.