Manuel Neuer believes the better side advanced to the UEFA Euro 2016 semi-finals after helping Germany past Italy in a dramatic penalty shootout win on Sunday (AEST).
Mesut Ozil gave Germany the lead in the 65th minute but a Leonardo Bonucci penalty 13 minutes later ensured the game went into extra-time.
With the scores still locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes in Bordeaux, a shootout ensued to decide who would meet either France or Iceland for a spot in the final.
Germany goalkeeper Neuer came up big to deny Bonucci and then Matteo Darmian, with Jonas Hector slotting the winning penalty in a shootout that saw seven players fail to find the net.
"I have never experienced a shootout like this. I think most of the Italians just aimed into the middle," Neuer, who was voted man of the match, said.
"The 1-1 score we conceded during regular time was a bit unlucky. But I believe we were the better side and are deservedly through to the semi-finals.
"It was something special to have so many penalty-takers, such drama! We did not manage to beat Italy in 90 minutes. We did not beat Italy in 120 minutes.
"Then this shootout just fitted that duel between Italy and Germany. It wasn't that easy. It was a war of nerves."