Last Tuesday, Denmark thought a last-gasp 1-1 draw with Finland had ended their UEFA Women's EURO 2013 bid. Now they are celebrating a semi-final place after a game that went the same way.
Reprieved as the second-best third-placed team by the drawing of lots, Denmark were underdogs against France in their quarter-final in Linkoping. Having led early on through Johanna Rasmussen, a Louisa Necib penalty to which Stina Petersen got both hands, restored parity.
However, it was a different story in the penalty shoot-out as Petersen stopped Necib's opening effort for France and Denmark held their nerve to win 4-2 and set up a semi-final with Norway in Norrkoping on Thursday. A thrilled Petersen and Rasmussen spoke to UEFA.com.
Stina Petersen, Denmark goalkeeper
It was a tough game that ended in penalties and we won! It is amazing. [Do goalkeepers relish the chance to save penalties?] I don't see it like that! It's the last chance at the end of the game after extra time, and I was just focusing on the game because we were under a lot of pressure. Then when the game was over it was: 'Now it is penalties, let's see what I can do'.
No [I hadn't studied France's penalties]. It worked well against Sweden, so I didn't research anything, I rely on my instinct. [Having got two hands to Necib's equalising penalty] I was so mad. I had both hands on it, it was like 'this is not happening'. But the second time she took one I read it.
We were running so much and playing as a team, supporting each other every time we had the ball we were trying to go forward. We believed in ourselves and that's why we're through.
Johanna Rasmussen, Denmark goalscorer
That was insane! We scored a goal but it was really, really early. We knew we had to fight for it. France are an extremely good team. When we went into extra time we were hoping to get to the penalties, our goalkeeper has been doing really well on those. This is just amazing, the most crazy thing I've ever been involved in.
We were really compact and worked really hard for each other. We are a good team, we need to work for each other to succeed and we really did that today. We went into this game just enjoying it. We were so close to going home, so everybody on the field today went out and had fun and worked for each other.
I believe [my goal] was really, really important. It's always nice to score, but the goal came a little early. It was nice when it happened. I haven't even thought [about Norway]. This game was amazing and I feel so lucky we are in the semi-finals.
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