"We have reached our goal, our dream," said Tyresö FF coach Tony Gustavsson after making the final by beating a Birmingham City LFC side praised by David Parker.
Article top media content
Tony Gustavsson explained that his Tyresö FF side "have reached our goal, our dream" after they booked their place in the UEFA Women's Champions League final against VfL Wolfsburg in Lisbon on 22 May with a 3-0 second-leg success against Birmingham City LFC, adding that his charges will "come home as heroes" no matter the scoreline.
Meanwhile, Brazil forward Marta expressed her relief after missing a penalty with the scores still tied, saying she would have been unable to forgive herself had Tyresö not gone on to win. Birmingham manager David Parker was proud of his young side's run.
Tony Gustavsson, Tyresö coach
The girls showed extreme courage today – to go into a game like this one, with everything at stake, and against a Birmingham side that had not conceded in six of seven games. It is so easy to get stressed when not scoring, but even when we missed the penalty we did not stress. The girls just looked forward; Marta looked forward. And we scored one, two, three.
We have reached our goal, our dream. In the summer of 2012, I sat down to talk to the players at the time. They said they wanted a coach to help them crystallise their game plan, somebody who could get the individuals to work as a team. They also said they wanted to win the Swedish title. "What about the Champions League?" I asked. I told them that if I am going on this journey with you, then the main target has to be the Champions League. I asked them if they were ready to lay down the work needed for that, and the answer was a unanimous yes. From that day on, we have worked so hard, day and night.
I have put my entire soul, my entire heart into this team and the players have responded by giving me everything in return. Now we will just go and enjoy the final, because however it goes, we will come home as heroes. The German side will be favourites, so we will go down there and the play the game with smiles on our faces.
Marta, Tyresö forward
I feel relieved that we won. My penalty kick was very bad and I would never have been able to forgive myself if we had missed the final because of it. It was not easy today, especially in the first half. But when you work at it, when you show your will, things tend to happen. This is huge and means a lot. It has been our plan since we won the Swedish title in 2012. Now we will first enjoy this and then start preparing for the final. It will be a lot of fun.
Malin Diaz, Tyresö midfielder
This is indescribable. It is what we have been working so hard for all year. Before the match, we had talked about being patient. We knew that perhaps we would not get to score immediately, so we were ready to keep grinding away.
David Parker, Birmingham manager
Tyresö ended up having most of the possession, but we defended with our lives and I'm immensely proud of the players. We're a very young team that's gone up against some of the best players in the world and the girls can hold their heads high.
There's a bright future for all of us. We had an extremely young team. Just look at our back four. There was a 16-year-old, an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old out there today playing against a star-studded front three from Tyreso so that bodes well for the future for us. I think we have given women's football in this country a boost because we have shown what is possible.