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Stratilatis aims for further finals

Greece goalkeeper Kyriakos Stratilatis was understandably downbeat after his side were edged out by Spain but quickly turned his thoughts to the future.

Greece's Kyriakos Stratilatis was understandably downbeat after his side were edged out by Spain in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final in Linz, but rather than dwell on his disappointment the goalkeeper preferred to look to the future.

'We deserved more'
A tight game at the Linzer Stadion was decided by Daniel Parejo's opportunist strike in the 38th minute, the Real Madrid CF midfielder's quick thinking from a left-wing free-kick catching out Stratilatis and the ball creeping in at the near post for the only goal of the game. The moment was described as "a technical mistake from our goalkeeper" by Greece coach Nikolaos Nioplias although the Aris Thessaloniki FC custodian believed his side should have had more from the game, telling uefa.com: "It's very difficult to lose this match because we were better than Spain in the second half. We deserved more than we got in the end."

Pride in defeat
Greece certainly had their chances as they sought a first ever UEFA youth title, with Kostas Mitroglou and Sotiris Ninis both failing to convert when clear of the Spain defence in the first half and Mitroglou missing a free header in the closing seconds, but Stratilatis kept his eyes firmly on the bigger picture. "Of course defeat is always difficult to take, especially in a final," he added. "But I'm proud of what we've done here; we have a good team and every player is extremely strong."

'Help us to improve'
The challenge now, for Greece as a whole and for Stratilatis and his squad-mates from Austria in particular, is to build on this success and ensure their first UEFA youth final since a 4-0 loss to the Soviet Union in the European U16 Championship showpiece in 1985 does not come to be viewed as a freak result. Stratilatis for one does not plan to rest on his laurels, concluding: "The success we have had at this tournament will help every player in the squad to improve at their clubs and to play more in their teams."