Germany coach Joachim Low: We were the 'better team' against FranceFriday, July 08, 2016 Source: ESPN
Germany coach Joachim Low believes his side were the "better team" in their Euro 2016 semifinal loss, though he conceded that France are worthy finalists.
Didier Deschamps' France side spent the large majority of the game on the back foot, with Germany ending the game having had 65 percent possession.
However, despite having the majority of the ball, Low's team struggled to create many goal-scoring opportunities and they eventually fell to a 2-0 defeat.
And Low, who guided Germany to World Cup success two years ago in Brazil, couldn't pick a major fault in his side's performance and put the result down to bad luck.
"We were the better team," Low said. "We put in a lot of effort, showed good body language, got forward and were good in one on ones.
"We were unfortunate to concede a penalty a minute before half-time, that was bad luck. We had our chances but didn't score.
"Today we didn't have the luck we needed; in 2010 and 2012 when we went out, the sides were better than us. Today we were better than the French but for the goals and result."
But despite his opinion of his own team's performance against France, Low said he thought Les Bleus would go on to win the final against Portugal.
"France have succeeded in getting to the final -- if you win 2-0 you deserve it," he said. "I think France will win against Portugal -- Portugal haven't convinced me that much so far.
"France have a very good side but we were the better team today."
Germany were playing without Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez, who were both injured in the quarterfinal win against Italy, and the suspended Mats Hummels, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Emre Can made their first starts of the tournament.
Jerome Boateng also left the semifinal on the hour mark with an injury, and Low said Germany were not the same side without the missing players.
"There were injured players, Khedira and Gomez, Hummels was suspended and Boateng went off injured -- they're hard players to replace," Low said.
"The side did everything I told them, showed a lot of courage so there's nothing to reproach them for."
Antoine Griezmann's penalty put France ahead against the run of play before half-time before adding a second goal by poking home a loose ball.
Low said the 72nd-minute strike was a momentarily lapse in an otherwise good defensive effort.
"We didn't get the ball away from a dangerous position -- we did that quite well throughout the game," he said. "We dominated France, most of all in midfield, but for this goal we didn't.
"We created pressure in the second half but there was always the danger on the counter -- we invested everything and we tried everything, and we had our chances."
It was an abrupt end to the tournament for the reigning World Cup champions, but Low said he looked ahead with optimism.
"This was a good tournament for us. We have great energy in this side, they showed great effort -- also in training in Evian -- and in the games they've proved their great team spirit.
"It was impressive how players who didn't play helped the side, so there's going to be a short analysis but I haven't seen too many errors in this tournament from us. Overall, we have a great side."