Fenerbahce coach Zico praised his goalkeeper, Volkan Demirel, for showing “character” after he recovered from two blunders in the first nine minutes to save three penatlies in the shoot-out against Sevilla.
The Turkish team reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the first team after winning the shoot-out 3-2. Penalties were required after Sevilla won the second leg 3-2 to leave the tie level on aggregate at 5-5.
“We are very happy because we qualified and, moreover, with the way we reached the quarter-final,” said Zico. “We showed a lot of character and we did well in the shoot-out. We played with courage to take a step into the future. I have great confidence in Demirel, the goalkeeper. He may have made mistakes but he showed character in the shoot-out.
“I celebrated my birthday (the Brazilian was 55 on Monday) alone for the first time, without my family, but my family was Fenerbahce tonight. I expected Sevilla to attack, because Sevilla have players who attack a lot.”
Sevilla’s Manuel Jimenez, meanwhile, lamented the failure of his side to kill off the game when they had the opportunity.
“We had problems with strategy, as usual this season,” he said. “We should have avoided conceding these two goals.
“It’s a shock. At 2-0, Sevilla couldn’t hold on because we didn’t kill off the game. We always attack and attack and we gave away dangerous corners and free-kicks. We had more possession but Fenerbahçe attacked well.
“We were worrying and we don’t know why. Sevilla and Fenerbahce are two good teams and either side could have won. The defeat hurts because we were not inferior tonight. Good luck to Fenerbahce now.”