Pompey end drought with point
Tue, 12 Feb 2013 23:09:00
Tino Costa and Sergio Canales believe Valencia's UEFA Champions League clash with Paris St Germain remains finely poised after the first leg of their last-16 encounter.
Los Che conceded twice in the opening 45 minutes at the Mestalla on Tuesday, leaving them with it all to do if their European adventure is to carry them any further.
They were, however, able to grab a late lifeline through Adil Rami and saw PSG talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic dismissed in the dying seconds - meaning he will be forced to sit out the return date in France.
Costa feels a quarter-final spot is still up for grabs, with Valencia having battled bravely to find a route back into the tie.
He said: "We gave our all tonight but it was not to be. It cost us an awful lot of effort to create danger. The truth is it was a hard game.
"As we all know, in football anything can happen and with that goal at the end the atmosphere in our dressing room was that bit better."
Canales also feels that there is still all to play for heading to the Parc des Princes, saying: "It's a bad result for us but we have hope.
"We knew they had quality up front and they showed that.
"There is still a lot in this tie and, even though we know it will be difficult, we will look to score early over there to give ourselves a chance."
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The point, only their fourth from a possible 60, kept them above bottom-club Pools in the League One table.
Pools beat Pompey at Fratton Park just two weeks ago but they failed to find a way through a packed and effective rearguard despite endless pressure in the second half.
Pompey's Hartlepool-born winger Adam Reed had the game's first chance, shooting low across goal after seven minutes.
The home side, for all their pressure, had to wait until the 43rd minute to test goalkeeper Simon Eastwood, when Charlie Wyke fired low.
Pools midfielder Jack Baldwin's burst into the area saw him fire low across the face of goal with Eastwood beaten, before his low 20-yard snap shot fizzed wide.
James Poole had two late chances for the home side but saw his efforts charged down.
At the other end, Reed's counter-attack could have brought an injury-time winner but Peter Hartley cut out the shot.
Pools made it four games without defeat but they remain 11 points shy of safety at the bottom.