Viktoria Plzen head coach Pavel Vrba criticised his defenders after a CSKA Moscow equaliser deep in second-half stoppage time denied the Czech team a long-awaited victory in the Champions League.
Nikola Vlasic converted a penalty in the 95th minute to make the final score at Doosan Arena 2-2 but the game looked very different after 45 minutes.
Michael Krmencik scored two first-half goals to put Plzen on course for their first Champions League group-stage victory since they beat CSKA 2-1 in December 2013, but Fedor Chalov narrowed their advantage shortly after half-time.
Rather than blaming the referee, who disallowed two CSKA goals before awarding the late penalty, Vrba pointed the finger at his own players for gifting the visitors such a late chance to claim a share of the spoils.
— PFC CSKA Moscow (@PFCCSKA_en) September 19, 2018
“I will tell my players that I am satisfied with their performance,” Vrba told reporters. “But I am not satisfied that we conceded a late goal from a penalty in additional time.
“We should have never allowed that situation to happen and should have defended it differently.
“In the first half it was one of the best performances I remember in Plzen.”
Opposite number Viktor Goncharenko claimed his side might have taken all three points, despite the fact that they were largely outplayed in the first half.
He reflected: “I thought we were better and deserved to win.
“But this is football and there’s no place for that sort of talk in it.”
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