Portugal coach Fernando Santos was under fire from the "seventh power" in Lisbon, and the first question was whether there was a justification for this defeat, one of the most painful in the recent history of this football power "I have an excuse!
What I have to do is take responsibility. I am primarily responsible for what we did not do. Serbia managed to be better in many moments of the game," Santos said. The Portuguese strategist calmly analyzed the dramatic match in Lisbon.
"We never thought about the point and we approached the game to win it. We entered with a clear mood and managed to score a goal at the beginning." "Then we started to experience great difficulties, circling the ball far too back.
It was the part in the first half where we defended at their 30 meters and that is not normal for our team." "I tried to call the players because Tadic was always receiving the ball. I called the players to correct this problem.
It was a little better but it was never so convincing." "Bernardo came into the game to allow us to parry the rival, to win the ball in the last third, and to develop an attacking situation. But in the offensive sense, we always had a lot of difficulties.
" Santos was not surprised by Stojković's move to introduce another striker, it turned out to be the hero of the victory, Aleksandar Mitrović. "At half time, we corrected some mistakes we made in the first 45 minutes.
The Serbs played with two attackers. We pulled Danilo back, and the idea was to attack on the side, to attack like that." "The game was more balanced in terms of opportunities," he said. "If Renato had scored for 2: 1, we would have talked about another story.
But the game was not well designed and we apologize. The Portuguese are as sad as we are but my team will be at the World Cup in Qatar." "What will happen is the playoffs, which is normal, at least for me. This is the third time I will be in the playoffs and I have always qualified."
Santos commented on the weak games of Cristiano Ronaldo and his friends in the previous two games. "Obviously we have talent, players with great quality, especially with the ball, and we have to apply that quality.
As in the games against Germany or Belgium at Euro 2020, we have difficulties in the game. We have to see how to solve this problem." About the conversation with Ronaldo after the match, Santos said that there were no difficult words.
"Nobody explained anything. He talked about the goal in the last minute, which did not count in Serbia in the first game. It was his outburst and that is normal. He was as frustrated as I was," Santos pointed out.