Portuguese weep over a chance at the Euros that was lost: Santos

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Portugal’s players sobbed in the locker room after losing 1-0 to Belgium at the Euros on Sunday, with the reigning champions believing they should have advanced after controlling much of the game, according to coach Fernando Santos.

The Portuguese had 24 shots on goal against Belgium’s six, and they also hit the crossbar. Belgium just had one shot on goal, a long-range rocket shot by Thorgan Hazard in the 42nd minute that was enough to win the game.

“The ball just wouldn’t go in,” Santos explained. “We are quite dissatisfied and upset. Players are crying in the locker rooms, as will many Portuguese.”

“The players gave it their all and worked tirelessly. But that’s the nature of football. We had 24 shots and hit the post, while they (Belgium) had six shots, one on goal, and scored one goal.”

Diogo Jota squandered a terrific chance for Portugal in the sixth minute, pulling his shot wide. After the break, he missed another chance, volleying over the bar from close range, while captain Cristiano Ronaldo went close with a free kick.

They ratcheted up the pressure in the closing 10 minutes with a Ruben Dias header, before Raphael Guerreiro hit the post in the 83rd minute with a stunning first-time shot from the edge of the box.

“It was something we all want. We trusted in ourselves and were confident in our talents “Santos explained. “We knew that if we won this game, we’d win the game overall. We were certain that we could make it to the championship game and win.”

“There is no such thing as justice or injustice in football; there are those who score and those who do not. We were unable to score after conceding a goal.”

“My players went out of their way to make the Portuguese people happy – we didn’t win, but we deserved to win.”

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