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Van den Brom gives up on UCL knockout stages

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Sep 2013

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Anderlecht coach John van den Brom appears to have given up on his team’s chances of reaching the Champions League knockout stages.

Just one game into the Belgian side’s Group C campaign, Van den Brom is eyeing third place after a 2-0 loss to Benfica in their opening outing on Tuesday.

With Olympiacos having been beaten 4-1 by PSG in the other game in the group, Anderlecht are hoping they can avoid finishing last.

“To be honest, the game was already over at half-time,” Van den Brom said after the loss to Benfica.

“Olympiacos lost 4-1 at home, so they also received a big blow, but against PSG that is not too bad, I think.

“We had hope and wanted to see where we stand but we have lost our first match. The game against Olympiacos will be crucial to see if we can secure third place at least.”

A fourth-minute opener from Filip Djuricic put Benfica in control before Luisao doubled the hosts’ advantage on the half-hour mark.

Djuricic scored after Anderlecht goalkeeper Silvio Proto spilled a relatively straightforward effort straight into his path.

Van den Brom described conceding the opener as an ‘uppercut’ and blamed the Belgian goalkeeper for his error.

“You can plan all you want but you do not count on falling behind after four minutes,” Van den Brom said.

“If it had been a fantastic goal from them then you can live with that.

“But if you fall behind so early after an individual mistake from Silvio – who drops the ball, which is then turned in on the rebound – then you see that Benfica, who had been waiting for something like that, have already delivered the uppercut and that is the hard conclusion of this evening.

“It is not that you have already lost the match because of that but obviously it made it more difficult for us.

“Then you see that the second goal also follows pretty fast and you know it will be extremely tough to get back into the match here.”

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