Slavia headed to Europa League quarterfinals

The Czech side beat sixth-ranked Sevilla in extra time in an upset

In an upset, local football team Slavia Praha beat Sevilla 4:3 and will advance to the quarterfinals in the UEFA Europa League.

Five-time champion Sevilla lost to Slavia 4: 3 in extra time at Prague’s Eden Stadium, and were 6:5 on aggregate in the round of 16.

“It was a marvelous and magical night. To score a win against such a strong team in the dying minutes of extra time: what more could we wish for? This may not happen again in my life. I would like to thank the fans who never stopped believing in us after we conceded a goal in extra time,” Slavia coach Jindřich Trpišovský said on the UEFA website.

At a press conference, Trpišovský said it was “a beautiful evening for all of us and for all Czech football.”

“We've all seen that the players show great strength; it's not just words. I bow before them that they could handle such a match. We were lucky too, but also met unpleasant events. The team got over it, reaching into reserves they might not even know. The boys were holding together. The most important thing is to be indomitable, and this team is showing it,” Trpišovský said.

The coach is optimistic about the future. “We have big goals. The main dream is the title. Sevilla is ranked sixth in the world. Knocking them out is a big reward, but we can be even better. … We’ve probably reached the peak in mentality and offense, but in football, we can still move: to repeat it more often,” he added.

Slavia goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář did not expect the win. “We had a fantastic game. If somebody had told me we would eliminate Sevilla before the tie, I never would have believed it. I think we were the better side in extra time: we had more energy and that decided it. I'm really happy I was a part of this victory," Kolář said on the UEFA website.

A Slavia goal in the final two minutes of regular play tied the match and forced it into extra time.

Sevilla initially took the lead in the extra time, but Slavia managed to catch up and then score an additional goal for the win.

Sevilla coach Pablo Machín was disappointed by the loss. “We thought that if we scored three goals it would be enough to qualify, but we were wrong. One minute decided it and we will remember this for years,” he said on the UEFA website.

It is not yet clear who Slavia will face in the quarterfinals. “My dream is to take Slavia to England. We've always wished for that because our fans really deserve it for all their faithful support. So it's clear for me: Arsenal or Chelsea,” coach Trpišovský said.

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