"We were better than Germany," said Cristiano Ronaldo, summing up the defiant mood in a Portugal squad beaten but unbowed after an encouraging display in Lviv.
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Portugal's players departed the Arena Lviv feeling they did not get the result they deserved against Group B rivals Germany – but heartened by the performance they gave in the 1-0 defeat. "We were better than Germany," said Cristiano Ronaldo, who urged his team-mates to follow the lead of Portugal's UEFA EURO 2004 side who bounced back from an opening loss to reach the final.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal forward
In the second half they had virtually one chance, and we hit the bar twice and had some big opportunities. [There was] a lot of bad luck and a lot of frustration because we knew we deserved more – a win or a draw. We have been playing well for several games and just haven't had the luck with our finishing. It's not due to efficiency; I think the main reason has been a lack of luck. Anyone who watched the match will have seen that we were better than Germany, and the chances speak for themselves. But now we have to pick ourselves up and continue. We have to take as an example 2004, when we also started with a defeat, but then reached the final.
Miguel Veloso, Portugal midfielder
We are all sad, because we know the team put in a big effort. We knew Germany were a strong team, [but] we defended and I think today we showed we have a great team – everyone saw that we gave a great display, but the result wasn't a fair one. I think we have to improve a bit in every aspect, we are a bit disappointed that we couldn't score, which is the most important thing but we have to hold our heads up. We are still confident [and] there's nothing lost yet. It's still in our own hands and we will do everything to reach our objective.
Pepe, Portugal defender
We created a lot more chances. We showed great spirit and defended well and counterattacked well. I thought we played at a high level but the ball just did not want to go in. We're sad about the result but still believe we can go through. There are four high-quality teams in our group [and] we have showed we're capable of getting through if we continue to play as we did today – we just need the luck. In the first half Germany didn't cause us many problems, but they came into it in the second half and scored. Unfortunately it’s not always the best team that wins. I spoke to [Mesut] Özil and he told me a draw would have been a fairer result.
Nélson Oliveira, Portugal forward
We didn't have any luck. We had several opportunities to score but weren't able to do so. We need to hold our heads up high, because we've lost but played a great game. Obviously the next match will be very important to define if we progress or not. We need to start thinking about the next game, go there and play well against Denmark.
Nani, Portugal winger
We had two chances from which we should have scored – in the first half we had the shot by Pepe that hit the bar – so I think we did have some bad luck. But we deserve praise and I think we have to keep on performing well, because we have two matches left.