Martins: “We deserved to advance”
Olympiacos head coach, Pedro Martins, thought that his players were deserving of their qualification for the playoffs of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League.
Leading 1:0 from the first leg in Turkey, Olympiacos were expected to seal progression against Basaksehir at the Karaiskakis Stadium, but they initially had to rely on Jose Sa pulling off a series of superb saves to protect their advantage. In the second half, Ruben Semedo calmed Olympiacos’ nerves with a goal at point blank range, before Mathieu Valbuena cooly converted a penalty to guarantee qualification. Olympiacos will play FC Krasnodar in the next phase.
Olympiacos boss Pedro Martins shared his feelings from the 3:0 aggregate win: “We are fair winners today,” stated Martins. “We played intelligent football. Nevertheless, it was a tough match against strong opponents, they had their chances to score. However, we handled the situation well, so we deserve to qualify for the next round of the competition. We had control of the game in the opening stages with the fans’ support helping us.
We don’t know what would have happened had Robinho scored in the first half. Olympiacos is a great team, the biggest and best in Greece. We have our dreams, and we want to write history. The players are ready to give everything for this club. Basaksehir have a large budget, but that doesn’t guarantee you victories in football. The fact of Krasnodar defeating Porto proves that you have to be ready for anything in this sport.”
Portuguese goalkeeper Jose Sa, who made a number of fantastic saves in Piraeus, expressed his emotions: “I am very happy to have qualified to the next phase, and all of the players deserve credit for this victory. We all contributed to this victory. For me, it would have been a special match against Porto, but it will be a very difficult tie with Krasnodar. We must continue working hard to achieve our goal.”
Goalscorer Ruben Semedo praised Sa: “He is a world class goalkeeper,” revealed the commanding centre-back. “He plays exceptionally well in every match. Olympiacos needs a player like him. My goal? I am certainly happy to score a goal at our home stadium. I think that we made less mistakes than the opponents, and I would like to congratulate all of my teammates with this victory.”