Following her lung-bursting performance, Germany midfielder Simone Laudehr could be forgiven for being a little out of breath after the final whistle.
Having not only scored the only goal of the game to defeat Italy, the 1. FFC Frankfurt player also helped nullify the threat of Azzurre menace Melania Gabbiadini to propel the reigning champions into a semi-final encounter with Sweden. While Laudehr heralded the strength in depth of Silvia Neid's squad, team-mate Lena Goessling looked forward to Wednesday's meeting with the host nation.
Simone Laudehr, Germany forward
We knew that it was going to be a tight game. We faced up to the battle from the very first minute and had a few difficulties at the start of the first half and didn't combine very well. But we did that very well in the second half and also played with more width. We got the ball a lot more out wide and the combination play then started to work and we got more shots in, and we could have scored one or two more goals. But that doesn't matter. We've won 1-0 and are now in the semi-final, so we're going to recharge our batteries first of all and then think about Sweden.
I'd switched quite a few times in the preparation for this tournament. The coach has played me as a defensive midfielder, on the left and even on the right. We've rotated a great deal so that all the players can get used to being in different positions when the going gets tough and so that they don't find themselves in a totally new position. But we have strong players from the Bundesliga in our team and they can play well in every position.
After we scored, you could feel that we were more and more of a threat going forwards. We desperately wanted to get a second goal because that would have been a great relief in such a battle like this.
It was very, very hot, but you then reach a point where you don't notice it anymore and your legs keep moving by themselves. Of course it's nicer when there's a bit more air coming through the stadium, but that was not the case and Italy had the same problem as us anyway.
Lena Goessling, Germany midfielder
We showed again today that when we defend well and press in midfield, it's always hard to create chances against us. We did that really well and we're relieved that we've reached the semi-finals. It was very important that we scored an early goal. The longer we played, the tougher it would have been to score against Italy. It was certainly a relief and a great feeling when the ball finally went in.
Nadine Kessler and I have a good understanding. We've played all season together at Wolfsburg and too much was said about whether we were the right choices for the defensive midfield positions. I think we've given the right answer today.
I wouldn't say we were nervous. Maybe we would have been a bit more relieved to have scored a second. That would probably then have been a knockout blow for Italy. Instead, they always had a bit of hope that maybe they would make it 1-1 and take the game into extra-time.
I'm looking forward to the semi-final. It will be a great game and I expect the stadium to be full. And we can play with a bit less pressure because Sweden are under more pressure than us in their own country.
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