The Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese was inconsolable after his late blunder on Tuesday enabled Juventus to knock the German side out of the Champions' League.
"It was horrible," Wiese said. "I wanted to bury myself in the ground. That's by far the worst sporting moment I've ever experienced."
Wiese had produced a string of fine saves until he fumbled a harmless cross with two minutes to go, allowing the Brazilian Emerson the easiest of chances to hand Juventus a 2-1 win to put them through to the quarter-finals on away goals.
"I was not excited at all, Wiese said. "I was treating it like any other match and it was going really well. I had the feeling I could save everything. It was one of my best games and then that happened. That's the kind of mistake you make once in your life."
Wiese was comforted by his team mates after the match. "He kept us in contention for so long," the Werder captain, Frank Baumann, said. "He had a world-class game until that."
Werder were hoping to reach the last eight for the first time after beating Juventus 3-2 in the first leg. Coach Thomas Schaaf, whose team were beaten 10-2 on aggregate by Lyon at the same stage last season, said they had proved a point. "This is bitter for Tim and bitter for everybody but it doesn't change the fact that we are definitely improving, he said."
Werder, who are second, eight points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, could be back in the Champions' League next season but will need time to get over what happened on Tuesday.
For their part, Juve never hit the right notes. Too often they were unable to find the fluency and control of midfield that has characterised their best displays. But they consistently manage to get results even when playing well below form.
"We suffered a little but it wouldn't have been fair for us to go out," said the Juventus coach Fabio Capello. "We showed great character and earned a deserved victory, even if it came via an error from a goalkeeper who had, until then, produced miracles."
Juventus defender Fabio Cannavaro also put the win down to the personality of the side.
"We were up against an excellent team that play good football and we started very slowly and relied on long balls - but then we reacted well and we again showed we are a team that believes in itself right until the end," the Italy captain said.Reuse content