BREMEN, Germany, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Another late failure in the Champions League left Werder Bremen with a bitter taste and coach Thomas said it was a painful to watch another triumph slip away in a 1-1 draw against Barcelona.
Last season they came within a whisker of knocking Juventus out before a calamitous blunder two minutes from time by goalkeeper Tim Wiese cost them a quarter-final spot. On Wednesday, Lionel Messi scored the equaliser for the European champions in the 89th minute.
'Obviously it's disappointing,' Schaaf said. 'I told the players I felt sorry for them. They played such a first class match with such passion and fight but unfortunately didn't come away with the win.
'But the main thing in my mind is that there is so much positive to take from this match. They played very well against a first rate team. I can use those bright spots to feed them motivation in the difficult days ahead. It will make us stronger.'
Schaaf said he believed the strong showing against the champions would help his team climb the Bundesliga standings.
'The football match tonight was great fun,' said Schaaf, whose team have struggled in the Bundesliga and are in eighth place. 'I'm convinced we're back on the right track. We put an end to things we weren't doing well in the recent past.'
Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard was pleased with the late equaliser by 19-year-old Messi, who came on as 65th-minute substitute.
'It was a great goal,' he said.
'Bremen had a strong start but we came into the match and were playing well by 15 minutes,' he said. 'We fought hard and right up to the end and managed to come away with a good result. We're quite satisfied with the result. It was deserved.'