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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 21:57 GMT 22:57 UK
Robben keeps his cool

SWEDEN 0-0 HOLLAND AET (Holland win 5-4 on penalties)
Arjen Robben slots the winning penalty past Andreas Isaksson
Holland match-winner Arjen Robben said he felt no nerves as he stepped up for the penalty that secured his side a shoot-out victory over Sweden.

Robben's spot-kick earned a 5-4 win on penalties after the game had ended 0-0.

"It was the biggest moment of my life because it's such a big tournament, but I really wasn't afraid, I was quite confident," said Robben.

"I thought 'now I'm going to score'. It was very exciting and finally we won and now it'll be one big party."

The match itself was a frustrating affair, but Robben believes Holland deserved their triumph after four successive penalty shoot-out defeats in major tournaments.

He added: "Finally we win on penalties. We fought until the end and stayed positive and we've earned this victory.

"I must pay a big compliment to goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, it was a fantastic save from Olof Mellberg in the shoot-out.

"Now we play Portugal and we don't fear them, why should we? We are growing and must be confident."

We had the chance to win - it's terrible to lose on penalties
Sweden's Kim Kallstrom
Dutch coach Dick Advocaat said it was an enormous relief finally to win a penalty shoot-out.

"It's always a lottery and you have to be lucky.

""The atmosphere in the squad is absolutely great, everybody wants to do everything for each other.

"We came from far and now we're in the semi-finals. It wasn't our best match but through hard work we got there."

Striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, scorer of his side's first penalty in the shoot-out, said he had been determined to get them off to a good start.

"It was unbelievably tough. I knew I would take the first penalty and I just wanted to start the right way.

"I knew we had to set the record straight because we have such a bad history of penalties."

Links to more Holland stories



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