We were the better team: Joachim Loew after Germany crashes out of Euro
Germany coach Joachim Loew refused to commit himself to stay beyond the next World Cup campaign as he picked through the wreckage of the country’s Euro 2016 exit.euro 2016 Updated: Jul 08, 2016 08:44 IST
Germany coach Joachim Loew refused to commit himself to stay beyond the next World Cup campaign as he picked through the wreckage of the country’s Euro 2016 exit.
Antoine Griezmann scored twice in Marseille on Thursday to guide France to a 2-0 win and a place in Sunday’s European Championship final against Portugal.
The world champions crashed out, but Loew said Germany had been the better team on the night.
“We were the better team, we invested a lot (in the match),” said Loew.
Asked about whether he intended to stay on after the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he said: “I’m still disappointed so I don’t want to think about that tonight.”
“How I cope with that is difficult to answer, we haven’t discussed beforehand what we would do after a loss, we will talk about that in a few days.”
“We’ll talk about it on the flight home, but this has been a good tournament for us.”
Loew and his players were bitterly disappointed at the defeat having had the lion’s share of possession in a game in which France beat Germany in a major tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup.
“We played well up front and we were unlucky to concede a penalty with the handball just a minute before the break.”
Referee Nicola Rizzoli awarded the penalty for a Bastian Schweinsteiger handball in first half injury time, although German players surrounded the match official in protest.
Loew said he had to “calm the players down” in the dressing room at half time after the penalty decision.
“It doesn’t do you any good to be negative in that situation,” he said.
“I don’t want to say anything about referees’ decisions.”
“If you see the way Schweinsteiger went in, he didn’t have time to react and he was just unlucky.
“You could say his hands couldn’t have been up, but there is little he can do to control them, so I can’t blame him for that.”
France made Germany pay for wasting a string of first half chances when Griezmann hit his second when Manuel Neuer head into the path of Griezmann to tap the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs.
“We dominated the French in the midfield and we should have cleared the ball for their second goal,” Loew said.
Loew was forced into several changes by injury in the quarterfinal to midfielder Sami Khedira and striker Mario Gomez, plus the loss of Mats Hummels to suspension.
Liverpool’s Emre Can made his debut at these finals in partnering Bastian Schweinsteiger in the defensive midfield.
But Loew said that unlike their Euro 2012 semifinal defeat to Italy and loss to Spain at the same stage of the 2010 World Cup, his team was not out-played.
“Today we didn’t have the luck we needed,” said Loew.
“In Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup, we were beaten by better teams.”
“That wasn’t the case today, but we didn’t have the luck you need.”
“We had Hummels suspended and we lost (Jerome) Boateng with injury during the game, so we were missing four players at the end.
“We showed a lot of courage so there is nothing to criticise the team for.”