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Control the key for Tsanas and Lopetegui

Published: Tuesday 10 July 2012, 0.04CET
Kostas Tsanas made no attempt to hide his delight after Greece advanced from Group A at Portugal's expense while Julen Lopetegui said Spain were equally happy to be in the semi-finals.
by Paul Bryan
from Tallinn

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Published: Tuesday 10 July 2012, 0.04CET

Control the key for Tsanas and Lopetegui

Kostas Tsanas made no attempt to hide his delight after Greece advanced from Group A at Portugal's expense while Julen Lopetegui said Spain were equally happy to be in the semi-finals.

Greece coach Kostas Tsanas was understandably thrilled following his team's success against Portugal that clinched second place in Group A and a place in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship semi-finals. A game against England will follow on Thursday when Spain – whose win against hosts Estonia ensured they finished top of the group, to the delight of their coach Julen Lopetegui – face France. 

We knew that in order to qualify we had to win – nothing less would do. We wanted to succeed and it showed on the pitch
Kostas Tsanas
It's not always easy being the team that is obliged to win. We were calm and played with patience
Julen Lopetegui

PORTUGAL 2-3 GREECE
Edgar Borges, Portugal

I am very proud of my players. Congratulations to Greece and good luck to them. Congratulations to the young players of Portugal too because they represented our country with dignity.

Kostas Tsanas, Greece coach
Today our main focus was the result. We knew that in order to qualify we had to win – nothing less would do. We wanted to succeed and it showed on the pitch. Everything worked to our advantage: the tactics, the guys' determination and the morale. We were superior for the whole 90 minutes and never lost control of the match. We are deservedly through to the semi-finals and that means that we have succeeded in what we set out to do in the first place: qualify to the last four of the tournament and also to the [FIFA] U-20 World Cup. I feel happy to be coaching these guys.

SPAIN 2-0 ESTONIA
Julen Lopetegui, Spain coach
This is football and every team plays to their strength. When your opponents play with eleven players behind the ball, even after you have scored, it is always going to be difficult. Our opponents were excellently organised, they were physically strong and very motivated. Fortunately we did manage to break through on a couple of occasions and scored twice. We made some changes as some players hadn't played up until now and we want everyone here to feel they are an important part of the group. I'm happy with all of my players. It's not always easy being the team that is obliged to win. We were calm and played with patience. We will now look for the guys to recover as quickly as possible for the semi-final.

Arno Pijpers, Estonia coach
We played very well in our team discipline, we didn't give too much away. That had the adverse of effect of us not being able to create too much. We said before the tournament that we wanted to look at the disciplinary problems the team had been having and from that aspect I have to congratulate my players as we only received one yellow card in three games against extremely strong opponents. We had a big chance at the end today but Spain are extremely good and deserved to win the game. We had the aim before the tournament that if we had the chances we would attack but against Spain you are always having to go back to defend. We can do much, much better, but not against Spain. In our group they were absolutely the strongest team.

Last updated: 31/10/12 17.44CET

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