Martins: “90 minutes still remain in the tie”
Following the vital 1:0 win at Basaksehir FK, Olympiacos boss Pedro Martins emphasized that 90 minutes still remain in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie.
In a tense encounter, Olympiacos registered a crucial victory at the Fatih Terim Stadium, as Giorgos Masouras expertly nodded Mathieu Valbuena’s superb cross beyond the opposing goalkeeper early in the second half. When Felipe Bruno contrived to handle inside his own area, Basaksehir were gifted a perfect opportunity to get back on level terms in stoppage time, but Jose Sa produced a fine save to deny Edin Visca from the spot.
Incidentally, FC Porto defeated Krasnodar 1:0 in Russia, with former PAOK midfielder Sergio Oliveira scoring with a late free-kick. The winners of the Olympiacos - Basaksehir tie will face either Porto or Krasnodar in the playoffs.
Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins is focused on finishing the job in Piraeus: “This is the best possible result for us today, but there are still 90 minutes remaining,” revealed the 49-year-old manager. “We have to be careful next week. Basaksehir are title contenders in Turkey, and considering that they have a good team, there is still a long way to go in this tie. If we want to qualify for the next phase, we need more stability and a higher performance level. Nothing has been decided yet.”
“We have improved since the first Champions League match,” continued Martins. “In the first 10-15 minutes, we had possession of the ball, making life difficult for the opponents. We showed intelligence. However, towards the end of the first half, we lost control of the match. We scored our goal after starting the second half excellently. In the concluding stages, we made too many individual mistakes, losing the cohesion of our game. We have to be a lot better than today in the return match.”
Giorgos Masouras, who scored the potentially decisive away goal for Olympiacos when completing a flowing move, put more importance on the victory rather than his marker: “I’m happy to score, but what counts is the team win,” stated Masouras. “We have to concentrate on the second match, because nothing has been decided in this tie. One mistake can cost you the game. Fortunately, we got away with it today, and Jose Sa made a great save. My goal? We had spoken about the opponents’ weaknesses. Mathieu Valbuena found me with a brilliant cross.”