In the end it was smiles all round in Enschede after FC Twente and Tottenham Hotspur FC shared the points in an entertaining 3-3 draw in UEFA Champions League Group A.
For Tottenham the result, coupled with SV Werder Bremen's surprising 3-0 win over FC Internazionale Milano, meant the London side topped the section, while for Michel Preud'homme's team, an unbeaten home record plus the prospect of competing in the UEFA Europa League in the new year was reward for their endeavours.
Even Sander Boschker, the Twente goalkeeper whose fresh-air swipe at a soft Peter Wisgerhof back pass produced the first goal, was grinning afterwards. "I'm not an 18-year-old kid any more," he told UEFA.com. "I've experienced plenty of moments like that, you just learn to deal with it and move on."
Boschker, who was making his UEFA Champions League debut at the age of 40, was thrilled by the experience. "
Five years ago I never dreamed we could become champions and take part in this competition, but this club has grown enormously and I'm happy to have been a part of it.
"I think we played extremely well as a team, not just this evening but in all the group matches. We are a Dutch side and we had the guts to play attacking football."
His Tottenham counterpart, Heurelho Gomes, revealed that goalkeeping solidarity took precedence over competitive rivalry at the end of the first half. "I felt very sorry for him because these things happen, and it's not easy," he said. "I went up to him and told him to just keep going, and after that he made some good saves to keep his side in the game."
The Spurs No1, whose own goal-line heroics made a significant contribution to Tottenham leaving Enschede with a point, looked forward to the knockout stage with a mixture of confidence and caution. "We are very good at home, but have to be a little stronger in away games and work on conceding fewer goals," he said. "If we can do that, we can go very far [in the Champions League]."
In an entertaining match, Jermain Defoe scored twice and looked to have set Tottenham on course for victory only for Nacer Chadli to peg the visitors back at 3-3. After a frustrating spell sidelined through injury, though, Defoe had reason to be cheerful. "
It feels great because I was out for two months which was frustrating, but I put in the work in the gym getting back to fitness and I always believe if you work hard you'll get rewarded," he said.
The 28-year-old England international also felt his club had surpassed expectations. "I don't think anyone thought beforehand we would top the group, but there is great belief in this squad and we're obviously all very happy," he said. "It was frustrating to give away the lead three times, because you want to develop the winning mentality. Nonetheless, in every game we play these days we believe we can win."