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Morozova delight as Russia seal progress

Elena Morozova struggled to find words to describe her joy after Russia sealed their place in next summer's finals with a 3-1 aggregate win against Austria, a triumph for mental strength.

Elena Morozova (No23) in action for Russia earlier this year
Elena Morozova (No23) in action for Russia earlier this year ©RFS

Midfielder Elena Morozova was struggling to find words to describe her elation after Russia booked their place in the UEFA European Women's Championship for the sixth time in seven attempts. The 25-year-old said the 1-1 draw that sealed a 3-1 aggregate win was a mental triumph but Austria coach Dominik Thalhammer said it was Russia's superior technique and organisation that ultimately told.

Elena Morozova, Russia midfielder
We have reached the EUROs – it is impossible to describe how I am feeling right now. Our 2-0 lead going into today's second leg was potentially slippery: it seemed a good advantage, but we all knew our legs would be heavy after such a competitive first leg. In the second half we realised we were well placed and began playing conservatively, using our heads and taking the sting out of the game.

Yulia Gordeeva, Russia substitute
These are strong emotions, after reaching the final stages of a major tournament for the first time – I hope we are destined to go a long way. There was everything to lose tonight, but we couldn't lose. We have a lot of good individuals, but today we were a team. Rostov is a warm, hospitable city: it is always pleasant to triumph here.

Dominique Thalhammer, Austria coach
The 4,000 crowd here were treated to an excellent match. Russia have more skill and are better organised, a big advantage that they realised after the first leg in Austria. It was all but over when they struck first but we responded well and eventually equalised so I have to be happy with the team.