GeriGündem Volkan the hero as Turkey's Fenerbahce beats Sevilla
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Volkan the hero as Turkey's Fenerbahce beats Sevilla

Volkan the hero as Turkey's Fenerbahce beats Sevilla
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Fenerbahce will make their first ever appearance in the Champions League quarter-finals after a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Sevilla on Tuesday ending the Spanish sides hopes of a third successive European title having won the two previous UEFA Cups. Fenerbahce goalkeeper Volkan Demirel turned from villain to hero said Uefa.com.

The 17-time Turkish champions turned up as marginal favourites in Andalucia after prevailing 3-2 in Istanbul a fortnight ago but Sevilla stormed back into the tie, winning the second leg 3-2 after extra time to leave the score at 5-5 on aggregate.           

After 210 minutes of enthralling action penalties were required for only the third time in the competitions history outside the final itself. And Fenerbahce it was who kept their nerve to make it into the last eight after their keeper Volkan Demirel made up for some earlier mistakes by saving three of Sevillas penalties.  

                               
QUICK DOUBLE

Sevilla had Fenerbahce penned back from the outset and took the lead after only five minutes when the visitors conceded a free kick 25 metres out. Brazil full back Alves powered a swerving shot goalwards and although Volkan appeared well placed to block, he could only push it inside the post.

The Turks were still reeling four minutes later when Mali's Keita drove forward in midfield to unleash another thunderbolt from all of 30 metres which flew into the top of the net with Volkan flapping once again. Fenerbahce won their first corner after 20 minutes. It was taken low to unmarked Brazilian forward Deivid on the edge of the area and he was able to drill a low shot through a crowded area.

The visitors were in the ascendancy when Alves chipped a ball into Kanoute in the 41st minute, and after controlling on his chest the lanky Mali striker turned to fire a deflected shot into the corner. Fenerbahce responded quickly, laying siege to the Sevilla goal, threatening at every set piece, and Edu had a shot cleared off the line at the end of a breathless first half.

The home side were content to play on the break after the restart and held out until 11 minutes from time when their defence was exposed again from a dead-ball situation. A free kick to the far post found Deivid in space and after his first shot hit the post, he had time to score from the rebound to send the game into extra time.

Sevilla dominated the last few minutes but were unable to avoid the game going to penalties, where Volkan made up for his earlier errors denying Julien Escude, Enzo Maresca and finally captain Alves, Reuters reported.


FENER ''CHARACTER'' THE KEY FOR ZICO

Uefa.com, official website of UEFA, headlined Fenerbahçe SK coach Zico's statement following the thrilling game: '' Fener 'character' the key for Zico''. '' Fenerbahçe SK coach Zico, who turned 55 on Monday, was belatedly celebrating tonight and said goalkeeper Volkan Demirel showed "character" to recover from two blunders in the first nine minutes to make three saves in the penalty shoot-out at Sevilla FC that took his team into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time. Sevilla's Manuel Jiménez, meanwhile, bemoaned the failure of his side to kill off the game when they had the chance, '' wrote the official website.

''We had problems with strategy, as usual this season. We should have avoided conceding these two goals. It's a shock. At 2-0, Sevilla couldn't hold on because we didn't kill off the game. We always attack and attack and we gave away dangerous corners and free-kicks. We had more possession but Fenerbahçe attacked well. We were worrying and we don't know why. Sevilla and Fenerbahçe are two good teams and either side could have won. The defeat hurts because we were not inferior tonight. Good luck to Fenerbahçe now '', also Sevilla coach Manuel Jimenez said after the game, Uefa.com reported.

The official website of UEFA also wrote '' Volkan Demirel turned from villain to hero to send Fenerbahçe SK into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time, saving three spot-kicks after hosts Sevilla FC had won 3-2 to take their first knockout round tie the distance ''.

 


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