“It was an intense match. Both teams had some concerns. We were up against a very disciplined opponent. I felt that Pilsen was even stronger than I expected,” UEFA.com quoted Gurbanov as saying.
Karabakh had the upper hand in the first half in Baku in front of more than 31,000 fans, but goalkeeper Jindřich Staněk significantly supported Viktoria with several excellent saves. The second half at the Tofika Bachramova stadium did not offer so many opportunities.
“Pilsen enjoyed one-on-one defensive battles and were dangerous in counter-attacks and set pieces. We had several big chances. Before the match, I instructed the players to play patiently, which they did well,” said Gurbanov. “We will evaluate the match and work on the shortcomings we saw. They changed their playing style because of us, that’s why I’m proud of the players,” added the 50-year-old coach.
They believe that the Azerbaijani champions can handle Tuesday’s rematch in Pilsen and advance to the Champions League group stage for the second time. “We will try to give more energy. I always ask myself and the team to show our best. So you can expect the same team in the Czech Republic. We will not just defend,” added Gurbanov, who has been leading Karabakh since 2008.