Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa says his side are worthy of their spot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The striker played an important role in Atletico's emphatic 4-0 win over Austria Vienna, a result that preserved the Spanish club's 100 per cent record in Group G and secured a first appearance in the last 16 since 2008-09.
First-half goals from Miranda, Raul Garcia and Filipe Luis gave Diego Simeone's side a commanding advantage at the break, while Costa proved a constant thorn in Vienna's side.
Despite his tenacious performance, the 25-year-old wasted a host of chances over the course of the evening, including a second-half miss from the penalty spot.
Costa was eventually rewarded for his persistent efforts with a late goal, but insisted his own goalscoring ambitions were secondary to the result.
"We knew it was very important to win because of the result between Zenit and Porto (a 1-1 draw)," he said.
"The team was great and we deserved to reach the round of 16."
Simeone was similarly contented with his side's progress, and with qualification already sealed with two games to spare, he feels that they will play with a lot more freedom in the final matches.
"I am satisfied because the team played a great match. We scored the first goal at the perfect time so we could play the second half more calmly," he said.
"We will be able to play more calmly against two great teams like Zenit and Porto, without risking our qualification."
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