Statements of the head coach and national team players after the match

The head coach Savo Milošević gave his opinion on tonight’s match and the defeat.

“Energetically and physically, we could not match this kind of team from Portugal. They are simply second level, one of the best teams in the world. I don’t know at this moment why we weren’t at our best. I have only been with the team for 5-6 days. Until 2-3 days ago, it looked quite good, but obviously we don’t have the energy for two matches in three days, and that’s one problem that all the teams from this area are facing. We conceded an early goal from the penalty spot and everything went against us. We played the second half with character. Definitely, Portugal is not at the level we can be at this moment. The biggest fault for this result today is most likely mine, because in this short time I could not recognize some things about the team’s capabilities. We do not have a defensive balance in the team. We didn’t have it against Liechtenstein either, but against a team like Portugal, it came to the fore. The matches that await us in November against Luxembourg and Slovakia are preparation for the play-off that awaits us in March.”

Captain Edin Džeko highlighted the large number of individual mistakes, which teams like Portugal easily exploited.

“Unfortunately, we got into a situation where we have to win Portugal, in order to keep our chances of qualifying. We missed our chances before against Luxembourg and away to Iceland. The match in Liechtenstein deceived us, where objectively we had a quick flow of the ball. When you concede a goal in the 3rd minute, your legs start shaking, mistakes happen. Regardless of their quality, I think we conceded goals too easily. Such individual mistakes are not forgiven by a team like Portugal. We need to talk more on the pitch, to call each other. As it began, it ended well. This match can certainly help the head coach to see for the future what we can do.”

Midfielder Gojko Cimirot also gave his opinion on the defeat against Portugal.

“A heavy defeat against Portugal, one of the best teams in Europe. We didn’t do well in the first half and they took every chance they had. In the continuation, we played with five players at the back and I think we improved the impression a little. We lost our hopes of qualifying for the EURO, we have two more matches in November and we have to prepare well for the play-offs.”

Commentary on the match was also given by Amar Dedić.

“We slept through the first half. Especially with the awarded penalty right at the beginning, it was difficult. The second half was better, because we defended better, but then it was too late. We have to prepare for the play-offs in the best possible way.”

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