Jonas Hector has spoken of his anxiety over stepping up to take a penalty against Italy in the Euro 2016 quarterfinal in Bordeaux on Saturday.
Having drawn 1-1 after extra time thanks to goals by Mesut Ozil and Leonardo Bonucci, the teams faced a penalty shootout to establish who would go on to the semifinal.
Seven players had already missed before Hector stepped up to take the 18th penalty, firing past Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for the winning goal.
"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."
The eventual 6-5 victory by Germany saw the Mannschaft end a run of never having defeated Italy in the knockout stages of a major tournament.
But Hector admitted it could have gone either way in the end.
He added: "We're happy to have gone a round further, it was really stressful and of course luck played its part."
Germany will now go on to face either France or Iceland in the semifinals in Marseille on Thursday.