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Astana coach Stoilov delighted with Benfica draw

Astana coach Stanimir Stoilov said he was so impressed with his team's draw against Benfica on Wednesday, he would have accepted defeat.

Stoilov's Astana played out a 2-2 draw with Benfica, who rallied from two goals down in the Group C encounter.

Patrick Twumasi and Marin Anicic put the Kazakhs in control the half-hour mark before Mexico international Raul Jimenez netted twice to help the Portuguese champions draw level away from home.

Despite giving up a two-goal advantage, Stoilov was proud of the performance, which he felt proved they were worthy of a place in the elite competition, despite languishing at the foot of the group.

"I think today was a really good performance from us," he said.

"We scored goals and did everything we could to win, though we're disappointed not to have scored a third to secure the victory.

"However, even if we had lost I would have been happy because the team showed they can play football at the highest European level."

Winless Astana remain bottom of Group C but maintain hopes of securing a Europa League spot by closing the gap on third-placed Galatasaray to one point heading into the final matchday next month.