Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vitoria unfazed by second-place finish

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Dec 2015

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Benfica head coach Rui Vitoria refused to be downbeat after watching his side finish second in Champions League Group C following a 2-1 home defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Vitoria’s side would have topped the group had they managed a point against the Spanish outfit but goals from Saul Niguez and Luciano Vietto put Atleti in control at the Estadio da Luz.

Konstantinos Mitroglou came off the bench to halve the deficit for Benfica with 15 minutes of the tie remaining but the hosts could not force an equaliser and could now face the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester City when the draw for the last 16 is made on Monday.

However, Vitoria remains unperturbed by the strength of his side’s possible future opponents and he instead chose to focus on the positives of Benfica’s performance.

“The small details made the difference,” he said. “I have to highlight the attitude of my players at all times of the game.

“It was a result that we didn’t want but that does not stain at all [as we have] qualified for the last 16.

“We just got on top of the Atletico team, but we couldn’t make the goal.

“When the draw comes, we will think [of] the opponent. We will play [the last-16 tie] with all the determination and wanting to win.”

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