Donna Vekic suffers mid-air fright ahead of Guadalajara victory
Brazilian goalkeeper, who kept a clean sheet as the tournament ended, looks relieved
DONNA VEċĆ KARAVĎ ČEDARIC DŌTE | The Guardian
Donna Vekic had a nightmare moments in the final on Saturday as her shot was blocked by Brazil’s Thiago Silva and she reacted by throwing herself into a heap, landing awkwardly.
The goalkeeper made it to safety and emerged a new hero. She came off injured but only on Tuesday, after she had the pain of an Achilles tendon in both her heels for two months.
That injury ruled her out for the rest of 2015, with the club deciding to play the match without her, but after she returned, she had to face up to the nightmare scenario of getting injured again. But she got through it and was proud of herself. Because it was her first international tournament final, the match was a major battle and she played from the back and for most of the match, never got the ball in the shot.
“It’s normal to get injured at this point in the tournament. We must all enjoy it,” said Vekic, an Olympian, in a BBC Radio 5 live interview with John Cross. “On Sunday, I will go in and be happy. That doesn’t mean I am happy with the final, but today we had a great game. We won this one by a goal. We showed the world what our team is capable of, but we wanted to fight until the end. We showed what we have, but we need to show it again in the final in the summer.”
The goalkeeper’s moment of joy came at the end of a match that had been decided very, very quickly. Brazil led 1-0 from an own goal from Brazil’s Neymar but Vekic got on the end of a brilliant pass from Neymar and cleared a goal from the Brazilian from close range. The goalkeeper was still feeling pain in her Achilles tendon – she had to have one crutch by which her coach helped her stand up after the goal. Her opponent was on the sideline and had to be carried