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Grnja overjoyed with Group B denouement

Coach Ivica Grnja hailed "a great day for Croatia" after his side reached the semi-finals and Luis Milla feels there are "really good vibes" in the Spain camp following a third straight Group B win.

Ivica Grnja celebrates Croatia's success against Portugal
Ivica Grnja celebrates Croatia's success against Portugal ©Sportsfile

With the final round of games in UEFA European Championship Group B producing victories for Spain and Croatia, the coaches of both teams expressed their satisfaction at qualifying for the last four. For Italy's Massimo Piscedda and Ilídio Vale of Portugal, meanwhile, there were positives to contemplate despite the disappointment of an early exit.

Ivica Grnja, Croatia coach
We're obviously very happy; it's a great day for Croatia. We were just happy to be here. We wanted to show people how we can play football in Croatia. Our aim was to qualify for the semi-finals and the [FIFA Under-20] World Cup next year. We've played against some very good teams and we've needed time to adapt. It's not very easy to play against a team of the qualify of Portugal, especially not to beat them 5-0. I want to congratulate my players, especially the defenders because they didn't make any mistakes.

Ilídio Vale, Portugal coach
This match was a decisive one for both teams. We had an advantage because a draw would have taken us through. I asked my players to be intelligent and not to concede goals - and obviously Croatia have scored five. Croatia played in the way we wanted to and to and did their jobs very well. We still had a lot of chances; we kept playing and playing and lots of players had chances but none of them scored. Luck wasn't on our side today. I want to congratulate my players nevertheless; this is an important tournament and it's given us a lot.

Luis Milla, Spain coach
We made some changes to our starting lineup for various reasons but the guys who came in wanted to give a good account of themselves. It was important that we kept our momentum going. We were always positive out on the pitch and there are really good vibes within this group. I didn't know Ezequiel Calvente could take a penalty like that to be honest. He's full of confidence and joined us in great form. We received a great reception from the supporters here. We need to work hard and continue on the same path.

Massimo Piscedda, Italy coach
My compliments to Spain; they demonstrated that they have a great footballing philosophy. We made two bad errors in the first half and you can't make those mistakes against a great team. We also had an excellent chance to score in the first half and didn't take it. Spain deserved the win. Looking at things overall, we really regret losing that opening game against Portugal as it affected us. We had a man sent off in that game and lost him for the subsequent matches. On the positive side, we have an excellent young generation of players who will grow in confidence.

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