Chelsea skipper César Azpilicueta played a key role in Spain's enthralling 5-3 victory over Croatia in the Round of 16 stage of the European Championships on Monday.
With the spoils being shared at the break, the right-back gave his country the lead in the 57th side after heading home from Ferran Torres' cross.
"Boy, we had to suffer! It’s been a few tournaments since we went through a knockout match but today we broke the ice against the World-Cup runners-up," said the defender following the game, as relayed by Chelsea's official website.
After find some breathing space by making 3-1 with less than 15 minutes to go, La Furia Roja conceded twice in the closing stages to force extra-time.
The 31-year-old added: "It wasn’t great to concede twice late on in normal time but we were the better team in extra-time and we deserved to go through."
Luis Enrique's side netted twice in the first-half of extra-time to seal an empathic win, setting up a quarter-final meeting with Switzerland, who pulled off a major upset by eliminating World-Cup holders France on penalties.
Azpilicueta added: "We are very happy and now look to the next game. The important thing is to recover well, but it is always easier to recover with a victory."
After being named on the bench in Spain's first two group-stage ties, Azpilicueta started and impressed in his nation's 5-0 drubbing of Slovakia as they booked their Round of 16 spot in style.
Following his goal-scoring heroics against Croatia on Monday, the Chelsea veteran will be a huge threat going forward if he starts against Switzerland on Friday.