Scolari bemoans mistakes | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 21, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 21, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008 Austria-Switzerland

Scolari bemoans mistakes

Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed a major blunder by referee Peter Frojdfelt could have cost Portugal their chance of a place in the last four at Euro 2008.
Chelsea-bound Scolari's reign as Portugal coach came to an end with a 3-2 quarterfinal defeat by Germany, whose third goal was headed in by Michael Ballack after he had shoved Paulo Ferreira in the back.
That gave the Germans a 3-1 lead when Portugal were pressing for an equaliser and Scolari said the Swedish official should have spotted the foul, although he admitted that his side had also made errors in their defending of the set-pieces which led to two of the three goals they conceded.
"We thought Germany would be first in the group and as first in our group we would not face them until the semis," Scolari said.
"Germany came second and we had to face a team with quality, especially on free-kicks which decided the game.
"What went wrong? The dead ball situations for one, and there were other things that did not go correctly. We had designated certain players to mark Ballack and others but the players changed who they were marking on the free-kicks and Germany made the most of that."
On the controversial third goal, Scolari said: "I do not want to say Germany benefited from that but all the TV screens show Ballack clearly pushed our player. Unfortunately the referee did not see it and we stopped.
"I do not know if it would have changed the match. We could have lost by 2-1 but when we are pressing the opponent and we concede a third goal we have to start all over again, our opponents grow in stature.
"I can't guarantee it would have changed anything but if it is a foul it has to be given by the referee."
Scolari's complaint was shrugged off by Germany's assistant coach, Hansi Flick, who directed operations from the dugout in the absence of suspended coach Joachim Loew.
"I think we do not have to think about that any more. We won 3-2 and the match is over. Whether or not it was a foul does not matter to me now."
Flick went on to pay tribute to man-of-the-match Bastian Schweinsteiger, who came back from suspension after being red-carded in the group stage defeat by Croatia to score the opening goal then make the other two.
"He promised to come up with a great performance and he lived up to that," said Flick, who described the win as a victory for meticulous German planning.
With Loew confined to the stands, nothing had been left to chance, he said.
"We had planned everything down to the last detail and in the end we executed the plan relatively easily.
"We fought from the first to the last minute and we can be proud and happy. Germany is a real tournament team and can be very focused when it comes to the crunch."
Despite his frustration with the way his side defended, Scolari accepted responsibility for his squad's exit from the tournament.
"I am responsible for choosing the players and the tactics so the main person responsible for Portugal not being in the last four is the coach.
"It makes me very sad because we were good enough to be in the last four. We made some mistakes of attention but in general what the players did satisfied me and I am proud of having worked with them."
Scolari also witheringly dismissed a suggestion that the announcement of his departure for Chelsea may have influenced Portugal's fate.
"If I had not announced we would have lost anyway. We lost because we did not do things right or with more quality. It has nothing to do with that."

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