Real Sociedad coach Alguacil proud of players and fans despite Euro exit

Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil was proud of his players after their Europa League elimination by Roma.

A 0-0 draw at La Reale stadium saw Roma reach the quarterfinals 2-0 on aggregate.

Alguacil said: “We were so, so close to turning the tie around. But a team like Roma playing like this sometimes make it impossible to score. Details make all the difference in matches like this and that’s what escaped us tonight. Even if we had scored in the 80th minute we’d have been able to dream about an equaliser because we created chances all night. If the first goal went in, and we were within touching distance, it could have been a different experience.

“I just have to say thanks to the fans, one more time. They were behind us and it’s such a psychological support. If we’d have scored the stadium would have erupted. We, the staff and players, are angry at being knocked out but proud of what we did against a very good Mourinho side and proud that we competed really well across two matches. But the fans know we were very very close to turning this around.

“If we take away the actual 2-0 in the first leg then the tie has been really tight. A team like Roma you can’t keep them to fewer chances than we did across 180 minutes – they put away two of them but didn’t generate many more. I’m very demanding with myself and with the team but speaking as a fan, not just the coach, I’m super-proud of how we competed against a very good side.”

On their run to the round of 16, he also said: “Tonight we were better than Roma. But you can ask Mourinho if you don’t believe me. First leg they were better and therefore justice has been done because they scored two goals and we couldn’t. Real Sociedad have so much to be proud of and so much more to play for. But looking at the Europa League campaign we produced there are very few teams around the continent who equalled our level across the group qualification and these two matches.

“Even against a super team like Roma, coached by Mourinho and playing a really low block defensively we still created a big load of good goal chances. That tells us that this side is capable of coping with the complicated situation and starting to score goals again.”

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