Guy Tzarfati, the Under-19 Maccabi “Shachar” Tel Aviv Coach looked back at his squad’s 1:1 draw at Sigma Olomouc in the first leg of second round UEFA Youth Champions League action:

“In short, this was a good result. We played against a good team at their home and we had a long trip to get here which wasn’t easy with bus rides and getting to the hotel late. It was great that we had a good second half and that was very good to see the players perform well both individually and as a team. We were able to draw even at 1:1 and now we have three weeks to get ready for the return leg. This was just the first half and the second half awaits us.”

About the match:
“We gave too much respect at the start of the match to both the tournament we are in and the opponent. We made some mistakes in the middle of our defense that allowed them some chances. Our keeper Or Itzhak made some saves that helped them out along with the bar saving a goal. But we played a good second half and I’m optimistic. I explained to them that when we played our football and our system that we’ve played in the past there’s no question that we couldn’t go forward and create chances. I’m happy that we were able to do that as the guys are young and play with passion.”

Showing their quality:
“I told them before the match it doesn’t matter who we are playing but we have to show our qualities and I’m happy that we were able to do that in the second half and that we scored a goal. In fact, during our best minutes we actually gave up a goal. But we knew how to comeback as the substitutes knew their roles and now we’ll head back to Israel and we have enough time to prepare properly for the next match.”

Mufleh Shalata’s goal:
“I believe he made a nice play to score the goal. He came into the match properly and we knew that he would be a substitute who could give us a goal. He works hard and I’m happy for him along with the other players.”

The importance of the fans:
“I hope that the Maccabi fans will come out to see the young players and how they play as they are the future of the team and the club. I know we didn’t disappoint them the last time they came to see us play. We will really need them when we play against Sigma at Ramle as they are a good team. We played here in front of a good crowd that helped their team and I hope that will be the same case in Ramle to help us advance to the next stage.”