Madrid, March 18: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has praised his side’s spirit after seeing them qualify for the quarterfils of the Champions League after a nerve-wracking pelty shoot-out against Bayer Leverkusen.
Mario Suerez’s goal (27th minute) gave Atletico a 1-0 win on the night but after 90 minutes at Vicente Calderon, the tie was 1-1 on aggregate. Ferndo Torres scored the decisive pelty but as always, Simeone preferred to highlight the collective effort, reports Xinhua.
“I’m delighted by the effort by the team. They made a huge effort in a typical cup game against a team who played with incredible intensity. After scoring, we tried to look for another goal which would keep us alive in the competition but always conscious that conceding would make life complicated for us,” said the Atletico coach.
Simeone highlighted his side was missing players such as Tiago Cardoso, Saul, Diego Godin and also goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya out with injury after just 20 minutes.
“His injury meant we had to use a substitution quite early on. I hope he’s back with us soon. Football is great and that shows you should never stop working because one day you’ll be faced with a hugely important game,” said Simeone. (IANS)