"It's nothing but fantastic," said goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth after securing Norway a spot in the final via a penalty shoot-out, which Marit Fiane Christensen "didn't dare watch".
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Ingrid Hjelmseth admitted to "a surreal feeling" after saving the first two Denmark penalties in the shoot-out that took Norway through to Sunday's UEFA Women's EURO 2013 final against Germany. Norway had led from the third to 87th minutes thanks to an effort rom Marit Fiane Christensen, and after the 4-2 shoot-out win the goalscorer told UEFA.com: "I didn't dare watch."
Ingrid Hjelmseth, Norway goalkeeper
I don't really have any words to describe it. It's nothing but fantastic. As a goalkeeper it's a win-win situation; you can only become a hero. We had studied their penalty shoot-out from their last match and took a chance they would be doing the same thing again. We agreed on putting on a little show and psyching them out slightly, which we succeeded in doing.
[Saving the first two penalties] is a surreal feeling – a fantastic feeling, also when [team-mates] come running towards you after but keep their calm and score themselves.
It's always tough conceding a goal at the very end of the match. When we did concede, the focus shifted to keeping ourselves in the game until extra time before recharging, which I believe we did well.
We agreed to sit back and not allow them to get to any chances. I don't think they had too many good chances during regular time either, and when we got the opportunities for counterattacks, we had to take them and we had a great one in extra time when we were through on goal. I'm very pleased we kept calm and performed at penalties.
Marit Fiane Christensen, Norway goalscorer
It's fantastic. I was very relieved and started crying right away. I felt so happy as I was very nervous during the penalty shoot-out. It is just a great, great feeling after having worked hard through extra time.
It shows strength coming back from the goal against at the end. The match played out how I had predicted. We scored early; they had most possession while we got the counterattacks – some of them great chances which we could have converted for a second goal and killed the match. But the match turned out the way we expected, though we sat very deep at times.
We were close to riding it out, and it was disappointing to not win at full time, but we showed strength when coming back and winning the penalty shoot-out, even though I didn't dare watch.
All of us work hard, and I was geared up for a tough match today. I'm happy with my own performance and happy with the team's performance – we all played well.