The Fenerbahce boss was left deflated after his side's 3-2 aggregate defeat to the Lisbon outfit, but argues home advantage and previous European success proved pivotal on ThursdayFenerbahce coach Aykut Kocaman says his side suffered from a lack of experience following their Europa League semi-final defeat to Benfica.
Two strikes from Oscar Cardozo helped the Portuguese giants to a 3-1 win on Thursday night, allowing them to progress 3-2 on aggregate to the final in Amsterdam on May 15, and Kocaman believes the Eagles' home advantage and past success in Europe played important roles in their victory.
"We are very sorry, we wanted to play the final," he told reporters at a press conference after the match.
"Benfica has played at this level for many years. The match was in line with expectations - Benfica using the advantage of playing on home turf.
"We started to play better after scoring the goal, but Benfica came at us with the advantage of playing at home. When they got their second goal, they came at us even more. We had a few chances, but they disappeared after the third goal.
"The main thing is we were facing a team that has experience, that has played 12 or 13 times in semi-finals, while we were playing a semi for the first time. I think that was the most important difference here."
Benfica will face Chelsea in the final at the Amsterdam Arena, after the Blues overcame Basel 3-1 on Thursday evening, and 5-2 on aggregate.