Vyacheslav Malafeev, Russia goalkeeper
I am feeling very emotional, and it’s hard to talk about it in objective way right now. I can start by saying I’m not satisfied with the result. We didn’t do enough to get the victory, despite the fact that we probably deserved more as we played better than them. I feel disappointed too, because it was down to us and we ruined our own chance of progressing.
I don’t want to talk about their goal. Everyone saw what happened. It was a bad moment and the atmosphere was unpleasant going back to the dressing room, but we had an entire half to turn things around. We tried, but unfortunately we couldn’t manage it.
Denis Glushakov, Russia midfielder
My debut didn’t go well. Our team didn’t win and we are out. Of course, we played very well in the first match and we were euphoric afterwards. And then we had some bad luck – against Poland and, I think, here. We didn’t think we were going to lose. Nobody in the team even thought about it. We all thought we were going to win. We knew it would be tough playing against the Greeks, but the score is on the board.
Petr Čech, Czech Republic goalkeeper
Compared to the match against Russia, when we started well and then it turned badly, today we started badly; the pressure of the occasion was obvious. As time went by we improved, created chances and in the end I think we deserved to score.
We heard about the other score. [Assistant coach] Vladimír Šmicer told us, and you could see it here on the big screen, so everybody must have seen it. But we were focusing on ourselves – we told ourselves that we wouldn’t wait for miracles, and that we would score and try to win. I think that was obvious during the whole of the second half.
We have six points, the most in the group, so we deserved to finish top. The first matches do not decide EUROs, as I said from the start. The Russians won the first match, and they are going home.
Fernando Santos, Greece coach
We are very happy, very satisfied. We dedicate this victory to Avraam [Papadopoulos], the injured player not with us right now, and to all Greeks. It was all about our focus – it was our focus and concentration that decided the result. We should have played our previous matches with the same concentration.
We finally found this ingredient which is characteristic of our team, we had a clear plan, we had to be disciplined and we managed to see it through. From the first moment we were focused, we didn’t allow them opportunities to exploit their strengths.
I would like to congratulate all the players for all their efforts – this match was very difficult, they gave everything, if not more, to get us through.
I have told the players that I completely trust them. Whenever Greece have been in a difficult position and needed a win, as against Croatia in qualifying, this is when the character of the team, of the players, emerges, and the response was fantastic.
Russia are a very strong team but I’d noticed they need a lot of space, especially in the final third, to create chances so the first thing we wanted to do was concentrate on our own half, and not let them exploit their ability there. After that, whenever we had the ball we wanted to try and exploit the openings in their defence because both [Aleksandr] Anyukov and [Yuri] Zhirkov were attack-minded and they left some space for us. We managed that at one point but it wasn’t easy all the time.