Germany were the better team in their 2-0 loss to France in the Euro 2016 semi-finals on Thursday, coach Joachim Loew said as he cursed his team’s bad luck for costing them a place in the final.
The world champions went into the game with three players ruled out by injuries and suspension and they lost key defender Jerome Boateng in the second half.
They dominated the first half, however, before an Antoine Griezmann penalty put the tournament hosts ahead on the stroke of halftime.
“There weren’t too many things that went wrong,” Loew said.
“We were the better team. We invested a lot and had good body language. We were powerful. It was unfortunate that we conceded the goal. It was bad luck,” he added.
“We had our chances, but sadly we didn’t score. We didn’t have the luck needed today. (When we went out) in 2012 or 2010, the sides were better than us, but today that wasn’t the case,” he said.
Loew felt the departure of the injured Boateng had been significant.
“The side did everything I told them. There is nothing to blame them for,” he said.
The penalty turned the game but Loew was reluctant to criticise Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli.
“I don’t say anything about referees’ decisions. You have to accept them. I don’t know if it was a penalty. If you see how he approached the ball, it touched his hand, but it was bad luck,” he said.
“There is nothing to blame him for, but the hand up there you can say it shouldn’t be there. There are movements and you can’t control them,” Loew added.
After defensive errors allowed Griezmann to add a second in the 72nd minute, Germany surged forward in search of a way back into the game but it was not to be.
“We tried everything in the second half. We put them under big pressure and we had chances towards the end. But this is football,” Loew said.
Loew expects France to win their third European title when they face Portugal at the Stade de France on Sunday.
“France succeeded in getting to the final and if you win 2-0 you deserve it. I think they will win against Portugal. I think they are a very good side and Portugal so far hasn’t shown that much,” he said.
Loew said it was too soon to talk about his own future.
“I can’t predict (what I will do). I’m still disappointed so I won’t think about that tonight. We didn’t discuss it beforehand, but maybe in two or three days we’ll talk about it and consider whether we need to discuss anything about this tournament,” he said.