Santos: “The responsibility is all mine”
Portugal’s players were under no illusions after the chastening defeat to Germany in Munich this afternoon. Coach Fernando Santos admitted that his team defended poorly as a collective, while his opposite number Joachim Löw revealed it had been a deliberate plan to attack the Seleção from wide areas.
After a positive start to the tournament versus Hungary by the Seleção, which would have had betters backing Portugal’s chances at Fanduel Indiana, the reigning European champions were made to look very ordinary by a dominant German team that got their tactics spot on. PortuGOAL brings you the match reaction.
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach:
“Germany are one of the best teams in the world. I thought we could beat Germany. We started well, with good organisation, looking to break out and make connections. We took advantage of the counterattack for 1-0. They had more of the match, but we were secure, and had a chance to make score a second goal.
“They ended up reacting with their left-back, who we knew could be dangerous, and he ended up scoring a goal and getting two assists. The team retreated, tried to react but didn’t manage to. I tried to change things at the break, but we conceded the third and fourth goals the same way. The team reacted, scored a second goal and hit the post. It was a deserved victory for Germany.
“The responsibility is all mine.
“Collectively we defended badly. When the left-back has the chance to do what he did, something went wrong. The team began to drop very deep, and this created problems for us. Now we have to look at the game and talk to the players. We need to clear our heads. We have a very important game against France.
“I want to look ahead. We want the moon every day. I’m going to think with a calm head. Wanting the moon like we wanted in this match is dangerous for my players. Let’s see. We’ll look calmly and see how we are going to play.”
Bruno Fernandes, Portugal midfielder:
“We started well, scored a goal, and had some opportunities to do better with the final pass, still in the first half. Afterwards Germany were superior and fully deserved to win the game. We never managed to boss the game at any time.
“What I can say is that the team will try and improve, gives its all and try to win the next game to qualify for the next phase. The last match will be a huge game, between two great teams, but we have to focus on ourselves and see what we have to do to win the game.”
Renato Sanches, Portugal midfielder:
“The shot against the post? It was bad luck but that doesn’t matter now. We’ll analyse this game see where we went wrong. I feel good. Physically I’m in good shape, after a few injuries.”
Danilo, Portugal midfielder:
“We let them infiltrate our defence. We failed to stop the inside game of the Germans, that was the crucial aspect. We weren’t good at applying pressure and that allowed Germany to have a lot of possession of the ball. We have to be better. We have to prepare the game against France well because it’s going to be very demanding.”
Diogo Jota, Portugal forward:
“We actually started well, taking advantage of a quick transition to make it 1-0 but they always managed to push us back, using strong and fast crosses, causing two own goals to turn it around. Afterwards it was tough as they were playing at home and keeping possession of the ball and made it desperate for us. They scored two more, we got one back, but we take no points from here. We’ve got one game left to try and qualify.
“When things go badly it’s easy to point out the mistakes. We were unlucky at certain moments. We weren’t audacious enough at putting pressure on them to hinder their game. We gave it our best. Now we have to look to the next game. Nothing is lost.”
João Moutinho, Portugal midfielder:
“It’s not the result we wanted. We came to try and win. We knew Germany liked to control the game and at times we couldn’t disrupt them. We improved, we scored first, but then scored two own goals, two pieces of bad luck. We have to take the positives from the game and think about the next one, which is the most important one.
“We didn’t defend deep. Germany have a great team, very good players and they dragged us back. We improved, got to 4-2 and hit the post that could have given us a lift. Now we have to work hard to get a good result in the next game.”
Germany coach, Joachim Löw:
“It was a great performance form us, against a technically very strong Portugal team and who took advantage of counter-attacks. Even when we were losing we showed great team spirit, we didn’t lose control of the game, we were dynamic and energetic. We created lots of chances and were always threatening for the Portuguese defence. It’s a deserved victory.
“The strategic plan was all about that, channelling the play to our flanks. We knew that Portugal had some difficulties in defence, so we played with our wingbacks higher up the pitch. Kimmich and Gosens put in great performances.
“We won the game, and we have qualification in our hands.”
By Tom Kundert