LÁSZLÓ BORSOS 2022.07.22 17:16 Frissítve: 2022.07.22 17:29

FTC: The match on Wednesday will be the most important clash of the year – Zachariassen

Kristoffer Zachariassen, who scored against Slovan, is hurt by what happened on Wednesday night. The Norwegian midfielder believes that Ferencváros was closer to victory than the opponent and believes that the team will advance if they play their best in the second leg of the Champions League qualifier in Bratislava.

Kristoffer Zachariassen (Photo: Attila Török)

 
– Did you toss and turn a lot last night?
– My mind was racing during the match, I couldn't sleep – Kristoffer Zachariassen, the 28-year-old Norwegian midfielder of FTC, who gave his team the lead in the 70th minute (but then lost 2-1) in the rematch against Slovan, told Nemzeti Sport. – It all changed in five minutes, and the end was dramatic. We sat in the dressing room with long faces after the final whistle, you could feel the disappointment, which was understandable as we had let victory slip through our fingers.

– The match could have been a huge fiesta, but instead, we were left with bitterness.
– We missed our chance, our fans would have been happy if we had beaten Slovan, but unfortunately, that's football, we lost the game because of the short circuit. What happened on Wednesday night hurts, but we will be looking to fight back in Bratislava.

– Towards the end, it looked like your most important goal of the season could be worth a victory, but Fradi could not even get a draw. It must have been a strange emotional rollercoaster ride for you.
– It would have been a perfect night if we had won with my goal. I must admit, the moment we took the lead I was sure we would win. We were in control of the game, the opponent hardly threatened us apart from a free kick at the start of the game. That's why it was demoralizing that Slovan scored in the 81st and 86th minutes almost out of nowhere. The second one was a shocking occurrence, and I would venture to say that they were the most difficult moments of my career in Ferencváros.

– Did the Slovakian team deserve the win?
– I think we were closer to winning, so no. However, the truth is that we were not so together as a team towards the end, we let the game get out of hand and we paid a heavy price for that.

– To what do you attribute the setback in the run-up to the match?
– We were not concentrating properly. When we were at a disadvantage, our opponents changed their structure, switching from a five-back to a four-back formation, and this gave a boost to their players, who kept winning second balls and taking advantage of our faltering. We made some mistakes after the other, and that can't happen at this level.

– Many people had the feeling that Slovan players were in a better condition than FTC, they played more agile football.
– I didn't experience anything like that on the pitch, apart from the five minutes I mentioned earlier, I felt that what we wanted to happen on the pitch was happening. Maybe they got that impression because we didn't create as many clear-cut opportunities as we had hoped for, but I'm sure we are in a better physical condition.

– Still, you could not crack the massive Slovakian defense.
– I must admit, they defended well, it was not an easy task to get behind them, because in many cases they were guarding their goal post with ten field players in their own area. We are used to this kind of tactics, teams often defend deep against us in the Hungarian league, and we had some promising opportunities this time too: I had a header that bounced off the crossbar, Tokmac Nguyen and Adama Traoré had promising shots, but the goalkeeper saved well both times.

– Did Slovan surprise you in any way?
– The only thing we couldn't be sure of was what lineup they would choose, otherwise, we have analyzed their game properly.

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– Nevertheless, the Slovakian team led a lot of counterattacks.
– We were aware that they counterattacked effectively, and we said before the game that we had to be alert because this was one of their main strengths. We did our best not to let them unfold, but sometimes they would run away on one of the edges after we lost the ball.

– Before the match, statements in the stands suggested that the team had underestimated their rivals. Could this be true?
– Absolutely not because we respect Slovan. We consider them a good team that, like us, has won four consecutive league titles in their country. We were sure that they would be a tougher opponent than Tobol, and they were.

– What do they need to change for next week's rematch?
– We need to move more crosswise and lengthwise, we need to get the ball downfield and we need to stop their counterattacks, which will require aggressiveness.

– How much chance do you see of advancing?
– It's still up to us what we can do in the qualifier. Despite the defeat, I am optimistic. We're looking at the second leg as a cup final and we'll do everything we can to advance. It will certainly be a more open game than the one in Budapest, and if we play our best in Bratislava, we'll be the ones to qualify. The match on Wednesday will the club's most important clash of the year but as I've heard, it would also mean a lot to the Hungarian people if we qualified. We want to please them, and we will do our best to be there in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

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