"it's as if the goal is 50 metres away," noted defender José María Giménez as players talked through the anxiety, joy and despair of Atlético's shoot-out success against PSV.
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After 210 goalless minutes, the shoot-out was torment for Atlético and PSV, with both sides converting their first seven penalties before the tie was settled on sudden death, after Luciano Narsingh hit the woodwork for the visitors. Players from both sides reflect on the drama.
José María Giménez, Atlético defender
I had to take a penalty in the end and that was the hardest moment of the game. It's a difficult time – it's as if the goal is 50 metres away. Luckily I decided where to hit it and even more luckily the goalkeeper dived the other way so it went in. When the ball hits the back of the net it's a real relief.
Augusto Fernández, Atlético midfielder
This result and the way we got it will give us a push. We have to enjoy today and then from tomorrow think about Saturday's game. Knockout games are hard; our opponents closed up well in defence and there was little space to pass the ball into – it was difficult. Now we will draw who we draw.
Matías Kranevitter, Atlético midfielder
It was a great night and thankfully we squeezed into the quarter-finals, which was our objective. We worked hard right until the end, but the important thing is that we came through. Penalties are decisive and either side could have won. We didn't practice them.
Andrés Guardado, PSV midfielder
We go home with an intense feeling of sadness. Being so close makes the loss even more painful, but in the dressing room we said that we can be proud of the tie we played and the effort we put in. Before the tie, nobody thought we would go through, yet we came really close to eliminating them. We have shown we can go head-to-head with Atlético Madrid.
We needed to be a bit more daring in attack. We let Atlético have a lot of the ball but when we had it we created danger. I don't think we were bold enough in that sense. We tried our best on the counter – we came close to scoring, but it wasn't to be. Now we need to win the Dutch league and qualify for next season's Champions League.