Germany defender Saskia Bartusiak was bursting with pride after her team booked their place in the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 showpiece with a 1-0 defeat of hosts Sweden.
Dzsenifer Marozsán's 33rd-minute strike proved decisive in the Gothenburg semi-final, with Bartusiak attributing the slender victory to a potent combination of hard work, determination and impeccable ball retention. Meanwhile, the holders' insatiable desire for adventure drew lavish praise from match winner Marozsán, who also took pleasure in the stoicism they exhibited to withstand the Blågult's second-half rally.
Saskia Bartusiak, Germany defender and player of the match
It's such a fantastic feeling, we're so happy and relieved. I'm extremely proud of the team and our achievements tonight. Everyone played well and we worked perfectly as a team. We gave everything, never stopped running and retained possession well, while our determination and will to win took us through. That was the key to beating Sweden.
They were dangerous throughout and it's impossible to stop them for 90 minutes. We had opportunities to score a second but we didn't and that made it very tight at the end. Everyone managed to stand firm, however.
The atmosphere was amazing – the entire stadium was against us but it was great. Now we are looking forward to Stockholm. I don't mind who we play in the final, I haven't even thought about it yet. I'm just glad we won tonight and can watch the second semi-final in a completely relaxed frame of mind.
Dzsenifer Marozsán, Germany midfielder
Both teams are always level at the start of a match, so anything is possible, as Denmark proved [against quarter-final opponents France]. It can be an advantage to be rated as an underdog. We played very well in the first half, instead of parking the bus. We created lots of opportunities.
During the second half, Sweden increased the pressure, but we stood firm and compact. That was the most pleasing aspect of our game. We fought hard throughout the game and hustled them in possession. We made life very difficult for Sweden. For the goal, Anja [Mittag] flicked the ball through and all I had to do was slide it in. It was lucky that it shaved the post and went in.
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