Portugal coach Paulo Bento has claimed his side matched Germany in every aspect in Saturday’s defeat except in front of goal.
Germany defeated Portugal 1-0 in the Group B clash at Euro 2012 but Bento argued his side were on top when they went behind in the second half.
“We lost because we weren’t effective (in front of goal),” Bento said after the match.
“We didn’t lose because we were inferior to Germany.
“When Germany scored I thought we had the game under control, we were well-positioned defensively, they were a little lucky – it was a bad goal to concede for us.”
Bento’s coaching rival Joachim Loew speculated after Germany’s victory that his side may have started poorly after hearing about the Netherlands’ shock loss to Denmark earlier on Saturday.
“We were a little tense in the first match, after hearing Denmark beat the Netherlands,” Loew said.
“No team wants to get behind in the first match.
“You get a bit of a spark if you win the first match and that’s what we wanted.”
Germany went in front in the 72nd minute through Mario Gomez’s header but Bento praised his side’s mental strength afterwards due to their willingness to attack in search of an equalising goal.
“The players didn’t lose their identity after the goal, they continued to play in our style and they were able to create dangerous openings – we could’ve evened the game, but that’s the way it goes,” Bento said.
“We have no reason to be emotionally weak after this game.
“We have quality, character, personality, we have to keep motivated and now recover well physically.”
Midfielder Sami Khedira, who set up Gomez’s goal, admitted afterwards that Germany struggled physically late on against Portugal.
Germany have been touted as favourites for Euro 2012 prior to the tournament and Portugal worked hard defensively to keep them out.
Khedira warned his team-mates to expect similar performances from opposing sides throughout the tournament.
“We were running out of steam a bit towards the end… they were well prepared for us and I think that’s the way it’s going to be through the whole tournament,” Khedira said.
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