Christen Press scored two and made one in the 3-2 win that took Göteborg FC into the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals, beating Fortuna Hjørring 4-3 on aggregate. Yet she and team-mate Anita Asante gave much of the credit to goalkeeper Kristin Hammarström, who made four last-minute saves to deny the Swedes' Danish visitors.
Press and Asante arrived from the defunct American league last winter and each intend to still be at Göteborg for March's quarter-finals; Hammarström is looking forward to a break after their last game of 2012. Fortuna coach Brian Sørensen was frustrated by the late opportunities that passed them by but he and defender Mette Jensen pledged to come back stronger next season after a second consecutive round of 16 exit to Göteborg.
Christen Press, Göteborg forward
They were a really good team.
I have to give credit to them because they kept coming back at us – every time we had a little bit of a breather with a lead they came back even harder. The last two minutes were too exciting for my liking but we owe a lot to our goalkeeper Kristin for coming up with some great saves. Four in the last minute, four great saves. [Scoring two goals] is a credit to my team for putting me in front of goal time and time again all season and never giving up.
[My first year here has been] phenomenal, I feel really glad to be with this group. It's a really special team and I've learned so much in my nine months here so I'm very lucky. We've worked really hard all season and we have a really good foundation. We have a long way to go if we are going to run for the Champions League, but we are an ambitious group and are planning to put in the work to do that.
Anita Asate, Göteborg midfielder
It was a tough game. We knew they had good attacking players and would put some pressure on us – it was a must-win game, so everybody's going to go 100% for it. But we had to grind it out in the end and I'm just glad that we came out with the win. [Hammarström] is phenomenal, she does that week in, week out – in practice she's the same. Honestly I feel we are so lucky to have such a quality goalkeeper.
I've had a fantastic year here, I really love the style of football we play, very pressure orientated, and such a committed unit – everyone works so hard for each other. Everyone's made it so easy for me to settle here that I can't complain. I'm in talks with the club right now and hopefully things will work out and I'll be here next year pushing forward with the club.
Kristin Hammarström, Göteborg goalkeeper
The last minutes I'll always remember, it was really hard. They created so many chances and they put so much pressure on – it was so nice to win the game. It was a really weird game. They came into the game and we tired a little bit. Now we will have a vacation and in January we will start again and prepare for the Champions League quarter-final.
Mette Jensen, Fortuna defender
We didn't play as well as we thought we would do. We gave them a little bit too much space to play in, and they played a lot of long balls we weren't ready for. In the end we tried to play long balls and do the same as them and we created some chances but we didn't get it in the end.
We played a lot better against them this season. We got the ball down more, we didn't give them so much space to play, that was a success for us. They were as good as last year but we were close this year. Next year, maybe!
Brian Sørensen, Fortuna coach
Congratulations to Göteborg, they scored three goals and we couldn't. We were not so good at defending today, we gave them two goals from our own mistakes.
We had three great chances at the end, that's the hardest thing to swallow when you don't use that.
[On their injuries] We had to change at the last minute before we started today, the left-back Camilla [Mogensen] was out because of sickness. It was not the same and you could see that in the game, unfortunately.
We are a young team, much younger than last year. I wasn't the coach last year but they had some older players from outside Denmark; now it's mainly young Danish players. We had a 17-year-old in goal, she couldn't do anything about the three goals but is doing a terrific job. We can learn from this and hopefully next year we will be stronger.