Champions League reaction

Liege hero keeps his feet on the ground

December 3, 2009

Standard Liege goalkeeper Sinan Bolat is trying to keep his feet on the ground after again emerging as the hero for his side.

Sinan Bolat, Standard
APStandard 'keeper Sinan Bolat celebrates his sides late strike

• Standard Liege 1-1 AZ Alkmaar

The 21-year-old scored an injury-time equalising header against AZ Alkmaar last night to ensure the Belgian side secured a place in the Europa League at the expense of their Dutch rivals.

Bolat is no stranger to the limelight having saved a penalty in the final domestic game of last season against Gent, again in injury-time, to preserve a 1-0 lead and force a play-off for the Belgian title, which they won.

His header from Benjamin Nicaise in the fifth minute of stoppage time secured his side a well-earned point which was enough to finish third in Group H behind group winners Arsenal and Greek side Olympiakos to snatch the Europa League spot.

"I'm trying to stay calm in the middle of the euphoria around me," he told the club website after last night's goal. "But this gives me a sensation even more intense than the penalty against Ghent last season.

"I didn't know if I was supposed to go forward or not. I jumped well - I've been inspired by (team-mate) Igor De Camargo. The free-kick from Benjamin Nicaise was perfect. After the goal nobody could stop me."