Lviv (Ukraine) : Portugal`s central defender Pepe believes his side can still progress to the last eight as long as they play quality football they showed in the 0-1 defeat at the hands of Germany.
"I think that we can feel as the winner today. We did everything we could to win the game," said the Real Madrid star.
"In the first half we were stronger. In the whole, we had more chances to score than the opponent. They had luck to score," he said.
Portugal was so close to the opener in the last minute of first half Saturday when Pepe tried to fire into the top-right corner only seeing the ball rejected by the crossbar, according to reports.
"It`s a goal almost scored. It was very bad luck for us. Germany is strong as a unit. Today we showed we are a united team too. We showed great team spirit even in the most difficult moments," he said.
"We showed great levels of persistence but that is football. Now we should concentrate on training. We have good hope for the next match," added by the defender.
Mario Gomez`s header propelled Germany to victory in the "group of death " together with Denmark, who upset the tournament favourites the Netherlands 1-0.
Portugal`s head Coach Paulo Bento also praised his side`s efforts.
"I think the first 45 minutes we were stronger than Germany. When they dominated a bit and had more of the ball later we still defended well. In the last minutes, we did everything to change and to score. Bad luck when the ball was deflected."
On June 13, Germany will play with the Netherlands and Denmark will meet Portugal, which will be a "do or die" battle for Bento`s side.
First Published: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 14:40