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Boquete on the goal of Spain's lives

Published: Friday 14 June 2013, 10.56CET
"My life flashed before me in those two minutes between the missed penalty and scoring the goal." Verónica Boquete looks back at Spain's sensational play-off qualification.
by Sujay Dutt
from Tyreso
Boquete on the goal of Spain's lives
Spain's wild full-time celebrations ©Getty Images


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Published: Friday 14 June 2013, 10.56CET

Boquete on the goal of Spain's lives

"My life flashed before me in those two minutes between the missed penalty and scoring the goal." Verónica Boquete looks back at Spain's sensational play-off qualification.

Only one side competing at UEFA Women's EURO 2013 were not at the first 12-team final tournament four years ago in Finland – and Spain sealed that honour in the most dramatic fashion possible.

In their qualifying play-off last October, Group 2 runners-up Spain drew 1-1 with Scotland in the Glasgow first leg before the return match at Las Rozas went to extra time with the aggregate scoreline 2-2.

Here, Ignacio Quereda's team fell behind to a Kim Little away goal, meaning Spain now needed to score twice in the remaining 22 minutes; Silvia Meseguer got one with seven minutes left but it seemed over when Verónica Boquete's penalty was saved by Gemma Fay. However, Boquete, two minutes into injury time, struck and Spain will compete in Sweden next month, their first finals for 16 years.

With four weeks to go until the Group C opener against England in Linkoping, striker Boquete talks through that second leg.

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"The second match was incredible. We had played in Scotland first and gave a great performance. And then we played in Spain, it was raining and the pitch was pretty difficult. Things didn't start well as they managed to score the opener, so we needed to find an equaliser, which we did. "

©Getty Images

Scotland ahead
"We went into extra time and they managed to score – but we just couldn't accept the 2-1. We had been knocked out of the last EURO by a late England goal, and we also missed the World Cup and Olympics because we conceded goals in the last minute of matches. And we said, 'No this can't happen again. We can't miss out on this EURO.'"

Hope restored
"In the last seven minutes we managed to get the equaliser and that made us believe in ourselves, and in the last minute of extra time a dream finish materialised with a penalty for us. Before taking the penalty we already saw ourselves in Sweden at the EURO."

©Getty Images

Penalty miss
"So I took the responsibility, I'm used to taking penalties for the national team. I had it in my head that it would be a goal for sure, I had no doubts. I had suffered a slight knee injury and the truth is I finished the match in pain. But I said to myself I had to hit the ball a bit harder than normal, because if I put it to one side the keeper would save it. My penalty wasn't the best and then I saw the keeper had saved it."

Dreams dashed?
"I have to say my life flashed before me in those two minutes between the missed penalty and scoring the goal. I turned around and saw all my team-mates crying on the pitch, I saw the bench and everyone crying there – a dream had died. There was hardly any time left to still make it. But something told me we would have another chance, that this wouldn't be decisive."

©Getty Images

The winner
"So we all kept running, and when the ball went down the byline and my team-mate crossed, I saw that ball coming and felt that ... well, I didn't know where the ball was going exactly, but I knew it would come to where I was. So the ball was crossed and deflected off somebody's head, and I managed to control it and hit it in. It was the best experience of my life. I knew it would be impossible to repeat that, because of the importance of the match and what it meant for us."

©Getty Images

"To qualify for the EURO felt like winning it – like what lifting the cup means for Germany, Sweden, or France, that's what qualifying meant to us. For everything it meant to us as people too. And to have the fortune to score that decisive goal in the very last second ... every time I remember it, I say I will be happy for the rest of my life. If you see me being sad then just tell me to relive the goal and I will smile again. This was the luck I had in my life. And then, right after that, we also went on to win the Swedish league with Tyresö FF."

Last updated: 25/06/13 18.22CET

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