Santos looks to pick up Portugal after Germany drubbing

AFP , Saturday 19 Jun 2021

Portugal's manager Fernando Santos gestures end of the Euro 2020 soccer championship group F match between Portugal and Germany at the football arena stadium in Munich, Saturday, June 19, 2021. AP

Portugal coach Fernando Santos insisted the holders can still reach the last 16 of Euro 2020 despite being humbled 4-2 by a resurgent Germany on Saturday.

Portugal had got their European Championship off to promising start with a 3-0 win over Hungary, but were brought down to earth as Germany ran riot in Munich.

"Germany were the better team and I take responsibility for this (defeat), but whether we progress now is up to us and how we respond," said Santos.

Portugal face world champions France, who top Group F after a 1-0 win over Germany and 1-1 draw with Hungary, in their final group game on Wednesday.

"We have to look forward now and it will be a different match against France, but going into the last match everything is still in our hands," said Santos.

Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal an early lead by finishing a stunning counter-attack to extend his record to 12 goals at European Championship finals.

"We started well, with good game organisation, looking to attack, getting some connections," said Santos.

"We made good use of a counter-attack move, which was one of the moments when we knew they would struggle."

However, it was virtually one-way traffic thereafter as Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens scored for Germany after own goals by Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro.

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota scored Portugal's second goal, but the Germans deserved the win.

"Sometimes we couldn't match Germany's supremacy, but we have to take the positive things out of this game," said Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho.

"Germany have a great team, many good players who played between the lines.

"We couldn't escape their pressure, but we improved. We made it 4-2 and hit the post, now we have to keep working."

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