Benedikt Höwedes: It hurts a lot

With 111 minutes played, FC Schalke 04 were headed for the Europa League semi finals. The two late Ajax goals naturally left the team deflated and disappointed, and after the match, club captain Benedikt Höwedes, goalscorer Daniel Caligiuri and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar spoke to about the game.

Daniel Caligiuri:

The looks on all our faces say it all. We wanted more than anything to put in a completely different kind of performance to the first leg. We definitely managed that. With a 2-0 lead going into extra time, we put our all into getting that third goal. What happened for that Ajax goal, I do not know exactly. I do not have the words to describe the disappointment. We gave absolutely everything, but unfortunately we could not get ourselves that fourth goal. 

Benedikt Höwedes:

The disappointment is massive. In the dressing room you see hanging heads. As an older player, you try to give the younger lot support in that. There is no accusations and criticisms between one another. We fought. We played a really strong game from the very first moments, playing to forget the first leg entirely. We had two really good opportunities in the first two minutes. We showed instantly what we did not first time around. Overall, we created a lot of chances. We managed to level up the aggregate score in the second half, and then from there got a leg into the semi finals. Ajax's first opportunity after that - which was actually no chance at all - they made it 3-1. That is how football can be sometimes. It hurts a lot. Still, though, I can only say positive things about the team.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar:

We produced an outstanding performance and at 2-0 after 90 minutes, we were toe-to-toe with them. In the end, Ajax got the lucky break to make it 3-1. That was really bitter, especially when you lose the first leg 2-0 and lead the second 3-0. The moment they made it 3-1 summed up the season: an unlucky action turned the game on its head.