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Rediff.com  » Sports » Euro 2016: Three main reasons why Wales lost...

Euro 2016: Three main reasons why Wales lost...

Last updated on: July 07, 2016 15:28 IST
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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 the 2-0 defeat by Portugal in the first semi-final on Wednesday.

Gareth Bale

IMAGE: Wales head coach Chris Coleman consoles Ashley Williams and Gareth Bale after the game against Portugal. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters.

1. Wales, playing their first semi-final in a major tournament, more than matched their opponents in the opening half but were dealt a knock-out 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."

Gareth Bale

IMAGE: Wales's Gareth Bale and team-mates after the game. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters.

2. For a Wales side which 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 off-side.

Gareth Bale

IMAGE: Wales's players wear a dejected look after losing to Portugal. Photograph: Carl Recine Livepic/Reuters .

3. 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."

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