Italy were `cleverer` than Germany, says Loew

Updated: Jun 29, 2012, 08:56 AM IST

Warsaw: Germany coach Joachim Loew on Friday said that the Italian nous was the difference between the sides in their Euro 2012 semifinal, which was decided by Mario Balotelli`s first-half brace.

Mesut Ozil scored a late consolation penalty to make the final score 2-1, sending Loew`s heavily favoured side crashing out of the competition.

"We have lost a game against an incredibly strong Italy team," Loew said.

"They have two brilliant strikers," he said, also referring to Antonio Cassano, who opposite coach Cesare Prandelli said had his best match of the tournament so far.

"They were cleverer than us, they used their chances and took advantage of our mistakes," Loew said.

He refused to draw any grand conclusions from the defeat, insisting Germany, the youngest side in the tournament, will take their opportunities in the future.

"This is a development of the team, you can`t win the title by just taking about it. For example, it took Spain time to reach success," he said.

"The team really moved forward in the last two years, we didn`t make it today but there will be chances in the future," Loew added.

Spain play Italy Sunday in the final in Kiev.

IANS