The third UEFA EURO 2004™ quarter-final ended like the first, on penalties. Unlike England, however, the Netherlands ended their shoot-out jinx, defeating Sweden 5-4 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes to advance to a semi-final against Portugal on Wednesday. euro2004.com rounds up the reaction.
Sweden 0-0 Netherlands (Netherlands win 5-4 on penalties)
So close. So bitter. So cruel. Sweden are today bemoaning the penalty drama which extinguished the hopes of our heroes. 120 minutes of football could not separate the teams and in the end Sweden faced a shoot-out against a team with one of the worst penalty records. But nothing was as it should have been and after Mellberg missed his penalty and Robben scored the party was over. (Aftonbladet)
Did the right team win? Not when you look it from Sweden's point of view. It's never fun to lie down on the grass after you've lost, especially when your opponents are celebrating like kids on Christmas Eve. It feels hard to lose after a wonderful performance in which Sweden came closest to winning the quarter-final in extra time - a shot hitting the bar and one hitting the post. The margins were not on our side this time. (Svenska Dagbladet)
Holland have reached the semi-finals of the European Championship, doing so in a breathtaking match finally decided by a shoot-out. Our infamous penalty trauma now seems to have come to an end, with the Oranje finally ridding themselves of a dubious reputation. (De Telegraaf)
So we can take penalties. In the heat of Faro, both teams were evenly matched over 90 minutes which produced chances for both sides. However, Holland survived a penalty shoot-out after it all went wrong in '96, '98 and 2000. This time we triumphed 5-4 on penalties thanks to goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar who saved the sixth penalty and youngster Arjen Robben who fired Holland into the final four, where we will now meet the host country Portugal. (Algemeen Dablad)
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