Joyce Sombroek says she never “counts” the score in a shoot-out as she helped the Netherlands edge past Germany in dramatic fashion to reach the women’s Olympic final.
The goalkeeper made four saves in seven rounds of the shoot-out as her side eventually prevailed 4-3 after normal time had ended 1-1.
Speaking about the win, she said: “It’s a great feeling to win this match; we have trained very, very hard for this.
“I hope we could have scored another goal in the second half [rather than go to shoot-out] because we had a lot of chances and a lot of ball possession. They defended really well but I was confident we would win.”
Asked about the shoot-outs, she said she would rather not be the hero in such a manner.
“I like the shoot-outs when they are not necessary! But we have trained them a lot so I knew my team mates can score and that I can make a few saves.
“I am sure we know a few things we can do better but when we need shoot-outs, we need shoot-outs.”
The Dutch were behind 2-1 early on in the decisive series but Sombroek added that this never has a big impact on her outlook.
“I never count [the score] or think about the end. I only think about my task, staying cool and focused and getting in the flow to make sure I make some saves.”
Willemijn Bos was another to make a big impact, scoring two of her four attempts.
She added: “It’s a big release. It was so tense; we know we can do it because we trained it 50,000 times. We have a great keeper and we have faith but, still, it’s tense.”
Interestingly, Bos twice used the same technique, slapping her shot from the top of the circle. On the second occasion, Kristina Reynolds read her intention but Bos was able to regather the ball and score once again.
“I know it is my strength and I want to play to my strengths,” she said of the decision to use the same method. “I knew I had time because what I do is quick so I had time to go around here. It’s not planned but you do go to your strength in those moments.”