Sweden head coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors was left to reflect on what might have been for her team who battled Germany to the end only to succumb to an extra-time golden goal in the 2001 UEFA European Women's Championship final in Ulm.
'The stronger team' - Domanski-Lyfors
"Germany earned it because they were the stronger team in the last ten minutes. We played a good game but we did not manage to score so Germany were the better team. We tried to restrict the amount of room that their midfield players had enjoyed in the first game against us. We managed to do that in the first half and for a while in the second but then they were too strong."
Claudia Müller, who also scored twice in the 3-1 win in the first game of the tournament against Sweden and who has emerged as the tournament's leading scorer with this her third strike, said of the moments before the goal: "I did not think a lot about anything, I was just trying to see where the goalkeeper was and thinking that I must put it past her. The difference between this team and the one of four years ago is that we were a new team then which had still to grow together. Winning in '97 was a major surprise. Now we have matured and we set ourselves a target to try and turn out to be the best team in the tournament."
"At the start of extra-time we assembled in the centre-circle and said we had to pluck up courage," added Doris Fitschen. "That was necessary because we improved in the second half and we said that if we don't roll up our sleeves and win the match now we never will. I would love to stay some more days and celebrate but I have to fly back to America on Monday. So I will just relish the day and even though the time to enjoy it is short I will enjoy every minute of it."
Stephanie Jones was voted player of the match, the first time in the competition that the honour has gone to a defender. "I just want to hug everybody," she said. "Afterwards I couldn't get a shower or get changed because there were so many autograph seekers and that's great. Things were different today because the midfield had a much tougher job to deal with their midfield so the defence was put in the spotlight more than I am used to. I was so happy for Claudia because she tends to miss the easy ones and score the difficult ones."
Full house, almost
Tournament director Willi Hink said that in view of the pouring rain a near-capacity crowd of 18,000 was remarkable. "It was wonderful," he said. "After the weather forecast we really hoped that the fans would come and there was such a good mood in the stadium from the first seconds."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.