SALVADOR: Portugal coach Paulo Bento consoled himself in defeat by Germany that the four-goal scoreline was an unfair reflection of the difference between the teams writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The injuries to Hugo Almeida and Fabio Coentrao plus the first-half expulsion of Pepe were responsible, he felt, for the outcome.

He said: “Our strategy was no different from what we expected. Germany tried to control possession¬† but then surprised us when we were off balance and incapable of counter-attacking. I don’t think the final score was a true indicator of the difference between the teams.

“Germany were not superior to us in play in the first 45 minutes but they were extremely efficient in front of goal and events some conditions affected us, as everybody saw.”

Addressing his plyers back in the dressing room rather than the media in front of him, Bento added: “This is a difficult tournament but we still have to games and this is the moment where we will see who we are.”

Bento insisted he was not happy with either the penalty which provided Germany with their first goal or Pepe’s expulsion but insisted he was not blaming Portugal’s defeat on Serb referee Milorad Mazic.

Bento concluded: “We made mistakes and our lack of efficiency [around goal] by contrast with the efficiency of the Germans led to this outcome.”

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