Five penalties saved in one game. Has that ever happened before Tuesday evening? Daniel Batz (29) made history as Regionalliga side 1. FC Saarbrücken beat Fortuna Düsseldorf 7-6 on penalties. The goalkeeper speaks about the penalty shootout and the celebrations after the game.
DFB.de: Mr. Batz, do you think anyone else has ever saved five penalties in one Pokal match before?
Daniel Batz: I don’t know. I’m not one to take too much notice of statistics. But there’s one thing that is clear: I probably saved more penalties on Tuesday night than I have throughout my entire career. (laughs)
DFB.de: The experts from “Opta Stats Perform” have been collecting statistics on this since 2008 and before yesterday the record number of saves in one Pokal match was three penalties.
Batz: That’s a good stat; I didn’t know that before. In that case I’m quite happy about my five saves...
DFB.de: What did you make of this historic penalty shootout?
Batz: They got really close a couple of times; I think the one during the game hit the post. The referee told me not to dive so early. As always I couldn’t look when our boys were taking their penalties. Then when I went in goal I tried to put the opponent off. I tried to get into their heads. Perhaps it worked against one or two of their takers. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m just happy and overwhelmed.
DFB.de: Fortuna had two great opportunities to win the game; both times they missed.
Batz: For the first one I had no idea that we would’ve lost the game if I didn’t save it. I was aware of that for the second one but it still didn’t affect me. I just did my best and in the end it was enough.
DFB.de: A fourth division side have made it to the semi final of the DFB Pokal for the first time in its history. Club president Dieter Ferner has called it, “the greatest sensation since the birth of Christ”.
Batz: That’s a nice statement. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet. It still feels like a dream. The game was a roller-coaster of emotions.
DFB.de: Did the 90th minute equaliser feel like a punch in the stomach?
Batz: Of course, we were all absolutely gutted. But we quickly managed to pull ourselves together. I told my teammates before extra time that we weren’t out yet. No one would’ve expected it to be 1-1 after 90 minutes. So we didn’t let our heads drop. Then we played really well in extra time. Düsseldorf didn’t offer much; we were the better team in my opinion. That’s a huge compliment to the entire time, it was amazing.
DFB.de: Almost 24 hours have now passed since this fantastic achievement. How was the night afterwards?
Batz: So much has happened already. I’m sorry but I still haven’t been able to reply to all of the messages I’ve received. The response has been unbelievable. When everything calms down I will sit down and process it all.
DFB.de: Have you slept?
Batz: Not really, no. I only got to bed early in the morning. I think I slept for three hours. Nothing more. I'm feeling it today.
DFB.de: Can you party for a whole week in Saarbrücken?
Batz: Tough one, but anything goes after a game like this. We celebrated it a lot. we earned it after that performance. We did it with the whole team. It was great.
DFB.de: So you aren't a beer drinker. What did you have instead?
Batz: It didn't get out of hand. But there were one or two things we had to drink. We didn't have a choice.
DFB.de: On Sunday, the semifinal draw takes place. Who do you want?
Batz: It doesn't matter. It's historic. We'll give it a go against whoever we face. But I do have one wish: FC Bayern in the final!
DFB.de: Are you thinking about winning the whole thing?
Batz: No, that's far away and wouldn't be right. What I said was just a joke. One foot in front of the other, the semifinal first.
DFB.de: The Regionalliga continues on Saturday with a game against Astoria Walldorf. How hard will it be to get back in the swing of things.
Batz: From Thursday, we will be fully focused on this. Promotion is our main aim. We'll do all we can to achieve this. The requirements of the league are totally different to the DFB-Pokal. We're being chased and everyone wants to stop us. We're ready for that. Walldorf will be a bit challenge for us. But I have no worry that we'll underestimate them after recent results. Everyone knows how important promotion to the 3 Liga is for the club. Thje DFB-Pokal is a bonus. The league is our main task.