Jonas Hector said he had his heart in his mouth before becoming Germany’s hero by booking the nation’s spot in the Euro 2016 semi-finals with a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Italy.
After Leonardo Bonucci had cancelled out Mesut Ozil’s opener in regulation time, an extra 30 minutes were needed in Bordeaux, but neither side could break the 1-1 deadlock.
With the shoot-out stuck at 5-5 after seven players had failed to find the net, Hector stood up to convert the winning spot-kick, beating Gianluigi Buffon to send Germany into the last four.
“I knew I had to take one at some point and I had my heart in my mouth,” the 26-year-old Cologne defender said.
“It’s hard to put it into words, but I am overjoyed that it went in. There weren’t many people left to kick.
— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) July 2, 2016
“We’re happy to have gone a round further, it was really stressful and of course luck played its part.”
Germany will face either hosts France or Iceland for a spot in the final.