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Scolari bemoans Ballack goal, team’s mistakes

sports Updated: Jun 20, 2008 23:45 IST

Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed a major blunder by referee Peter Frojdfelt could have cost Portugal their chance of a place in the last four at Euro 2008.

Chelsea-bound Scolari’s reign as Portugal coach came to an end with a 3-2 quarterfinal defeat by Germany, whose third goal was headed in by Michael Ballack after he had shoved Paulo Ferreira in the back.

That gave the Germans a 3-1 lead when Portugal were pressing for an equaliser and Scolari said the Swedish official should have spotted the foul, although he admitted that his side had also made errors in their defending of the set-pieces which led to two of the three goals they conceded.

“What went wrong? The dead ball situations for one, and there were other things that did not go correctly. We had designated certain players to mark Ballack and others but the players changed who they were marking on the free-kicks and Germany made the most of that,” Scolari said.

On the controversial third goal, Scolari said: “I do not want to say Germany benefited from that but all the TV screens show Ballack clearly pushed our player.

Scolari's complaint was shrugged off by Germany's assistant coach, Hansi Flick, who directed operations from the dugout in the absence of suspended coach Joachim Loew.

“I think we do not have to think about that any more. We won 3-2 and the match is over. Whether or not it was a foul does not matter to me now.”

Despite his frustration with the way his side defended, Scolari accepted responsibility for his squad's exit from the tournament.

“I am responsible for choosing the players and the tactics so the main person responsible for Portugal not being in the last four is the coach.

“It makes me very sad because we were good enough to be in the last four. We made some mistakes of attention but in general what the players did satisfied me and I am proud of having worked with them."

Scolari also witheringly dismissed a suggestion that the announcement of his departure for Chelsea may have influenced Portugal's fate.

“If I had not announced we would have lost anyway. We lost because we did not do things right or with more quality.”