Cool and calculated play secured Copenhagen football club FCK a spot in the Champions League Wednesday.
The white-and-blue Lions defeated the legendary Dutch team Ajax Amsterdam 0-2 on its home turf - something most observers and fans alike considered an impossible task after FCK lost the first face-off two weeks ago.
Manager Ståle Solbakken and his troops had other plans, however, playing a patient yet daring game and holding a clean slate through the first half.
'We knew we had a chance if we scored first,' said midfielder Michael Silberbauer, who found the Ajax goal in the 59th minute.
The goal stunned Ajax, but the Dutch team responded with its well-honed offence led by Ryan Babel and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. FCK stood its ground, however, sending William Kvist down the right side. His pass into the penalty box struck an Ajax player who gave FCK its second goal - and a spot in the Champions League.
Solbakken reflected on what his team did right compared with the last match.
'We succeeded in hushing Ajax to sleep. In contrast to the first match in Copenhagen, where we were only good for 70 minutes, we went the distance,' the manager told Kanal 5. 'We had
luck on our side in the first half but after the break, I think we were actually best.'
Team owner Flemming Østergaard had difficultly hiding his emotion after the surprise win.
'I'm moved. This is fantastic for FCK. It might sound a bit over-the-top, but it's also great for Danish football in general,' said Østergaard.
As FCK awaited Thursday's drawing to learn which teams it would face in the tournament, Solbakken expressed the need for 'healthy realism'.
'We have to play a lot of matches at a high level, and we have to take what comes. We're there to gather experience but also to win the most possible matches and win some points.'