Fernando Santos praises Greek passion after Germany defeat

The Portuguese coach bemoaned the loss of Giorgos Karagounis and the mistakes made by the Ethniki, but said he remained proud of his team

Greece coach Fernando Santos has heaped praise on his players, despite losing 4-2 to Germany in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.

In a frank, yet calm post-match press conference, he acknowledged that the Greeks had the chance to get more from the game after Dimitris Salpingidis equalized, but failed to grasp it properly.

"If [we] could have scored once, we could have changed the game completely. We could have got something more from it," he told reporters.

"We entered the pitch with great determination in the second half and scored an equalizer, but we quickly conceded a second goal that cut off our wings.

"But in any case, I have to congratulate my players for their efforts.

"The mental [strength] and the passion we displayed in our games is what we want to remember from this tournament. But we will have to correct some mistakes that we certainly made throughout the tournament."

Aside from these errors, Santos pin-pointed the absence of 35-year-old midfielder Giorgos Karagounis, who missed the game through suspension, as a major factor in his side's downfall.

He also stated that Joachim Low's bold reshuffle of his forward line created a tactical headache - with veteran striker Miroslav Klose proving a particular menace.

"The absence of Karagounis was very important as he is a player who can keep the ball and move it around," he said.

"We missed this element today, especially in the first half, when we should have had more calmness in our game, but we didn't and we struggled for breath chasing the ball around.

"The truth is that we were expecting a different lineup from the German side, although there were rumors in the press that Mr. Low would try to freshen up his starting 11.

"The main change was Klose's introduction instead of Gomez."

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