Euro 2016: Wales made to pay for concentration lapse, says Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman said his players had overcome a mental block but the challenge is to build on their success.

By: Reuters | Lyon | Published: July 7, 2016 10:13 am
Euro 2016, Euro 2016 semi-final, Portugal vs Wales, POR vs WAL, PORWAL, Wales vs Portugal, WAl vs POR, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Bale, Chris Coleman, Coleman, coach Coleman, Ronaldo vs bale, Euro 2016 semi-final Portugal vs Bale, Euro 2016 semis, Football Chris Coleman wants Welsh players to use their first experience of tournament to create a legacy that will last beyond. (Source: Reuters)

Wales manager Chris Coleman said he was “immensely proud” of his team after their hopes of reaching the Euro 2016 final were dashed by a brief lapse of focus during a 2-0 defeat by Portugal on Wednesday.

Wales, playing their first semi-final in a major tournament, more than matched their opponents in the opening half but they were dealt a knockout blow after the break when Portugal scored two goals in a matter of minutes.

“We lost our concentration for five minutes and when you’re up against quality in a semi-final, you’re going to get punished,” Coleman told reporters.

“We’ve done plenty of winning, it was our turn tonight to lose. It’s not a nice feeling but congratulations to them. I hope they go and win it.”

PHOTOS: Cristiano Ronaldo shines in Portugal’s night

For a Wales side who defended stoutly on their stunning run to the last four, it was a disappointing end to a first major tournament for 58 years.

The first goal came from a simple 50th-minute corner that was rifled into the net by a bullet header from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo then turned inadvertent provider as his tame shot was scuffed home by Nani, unmarked in the middle of the goal as the Wales defence pushed out for offside.

READ: Cristiano Ronaldo ends Wales fairytale, takes Portugal into final

Wales could not recover and never looked like clawing their way back into the tie as Portugal reached their first European Championship final since losing as hosts to Greece in 2004.

Having guided his side to within touching distance of the final, Coleman said his players had overcome a mental block but the challenge now is to build on their success.

He wants them to use their first experience of tournament football to create a legacy that will last beyond his time in charge.

“It was important for us to get over the psychological barrier and qualify for the first tournament,” said Coleman.

“There’s nothing like this. It’s such a healthy positive vibe, we absolutely loved every minute. We need some more of that.

“If you lose and you’ve given your best, that’s how it goes. But I’ve told the players this isn’t the end. Some of them will be here a lot longer than I will be here as manager,” added Coleman.

“We’ve come through some big tests, it’s been a great experience. Now we have to go into the next campaign with the same hunger and desire as we’ve had over the last three years.”

For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App

  1. No Comments.
Live Cricket Scores & Results