By Izuchukwu Okosi:
CSKA Moscow denied Sporting Lisbon a place in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League qualification after a late Ahmed Musa goal, but Sporting Lisbon coach Jorge Jesus, insists his side were the superior team over the Russians on Wednesday night.
Sporting Lisbon coach Jorge Jesus9 analysed the situation on Wednesday and believes CSKA were not supposed to emerge winners.
Lisbon defeated CSKA Moscow 2-1 last week, and Jesus’ men had looked on track to win the ties when Teofilo Gutierrez slotted his shot from a tight angle in the first half.
But three minutes into the second half, Seydou Doumbia levelled the second leg for CSKA when he bundled home a loose ball though with the aid of his hand , while the Cote d’ Ivoire striker made it 3-3 on aggregate in the 72nd minute from Ahmed Musa’s pass.
Super Eagles winger Musa struck the winner in the 85th minute and his goal jubilation told the whole story but Jesus remained convinced Sporting could hold their heads high.
“We started very well, especially the first 30 minutes – we controlled the match, scored a goal and were 3-1 up on aggregate,” Jesus said, according to UEFA.com.
“Maybe we were not so sharp at the end of the first half, but everything was going well. Over the two legs, I can say that we were better than CSKA but perhaps our opponents wanted it more at the end of the game.
“We played a good, strong team; both sides had chances and really wanted to get into the group stage.”
Wednesday’s match was CSKA’s fourth in a row without keeping a clean sheet in Champions League qualifying, and coach Leonid Slutsky hailed his team’s character and ability to grind out results.
“We have had a very difficult Champions League qualification, but at this level that’s always the case,” he said.
“I am very pleased that we were able to turn the game around and we showed character, skill and will. I’m grateful to the lads for what they’ve done.”
CSKA are in Pot 3 of the Champions League group draw slated for Thursday.