André Moreira and Tomás Podstawski acknowledged Germany were deserved winners of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship as Portugal fell at the final hurdle in Budapest.
A single goal, from Hany Mukhtar six minutes before half-time, proved enough to split the sides at the Szusza Ferenc Stadion, inflicting a second final defeat on Portugal following their 2003 reverse. "We played well but Germany were luckier and more efficient so they deserved to win," the goalkeeper told UEFA.com. "Next time we hope it will be our turn."
Forced off with an injury in the semi-final win against Serbia, Moreira "was always expecting to play – it wasn't a serious problem" but was left with plenty of regrets. "We played well and had some good opportunities. If we'd had a bit more luck in the second half, the result might have been different."
Captain Podstawski, meanwhile, described Germany as "the strongest opponents we faced". The centre-back added: "
We did everything to win but unfortunately it wasn't enough. We knew Germany would have possession and that we would have to defend as a compact block but we didn't do that so well in the first half. We did better in the second, but against it wasn't enough."
Portugal's semi-final against Serbia was only decided after extra time and penalties, and Podstawski admitted the extra physical demands of that had had an impact: "We didn't have much time to recover, and maybe we couldn't play the way we usually do. We played more defensively than normal and didn't press the ball so much."
Despite the obvious disappointment from the defeat, however, both players found positives to take from their time in Hungary. "Two years ago I would never have expected to be here in a final," Podstawski said. Moreira added: "This has been great, not just for me but for all the players. Every player in this competition has raised their profile and that will really help them. The biggest lesson I'll take is how to deal with pressure. That will really help my future."
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