Bilek: Portugal Were Better Than Us
The Czechs bowed out at the quarterfinal stage following their loss to the Portuguese, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting the winner on 79 minutes after plenty of goal pressure throughout the match.
“They were better than us and showed it in the second half. They have excellent players who play for big clubs. We knew we weren’t really on the same level as them,” Bilek told reporters.
He added: “Immediately after the match we were disappointed. We had been looking forward to perhaps playing in the semi-finals and the final, and we wanted to make it happen. But now, after a few minutes, I must say we played well.
“We were up against dangerous opponents, who created many chances. We fought well, and I want to thank my players for that. We reinforced our defence as we knew they would attack. We managed to hold out in the first half, but we were losing energy in the second. They scored once and that was it.”
However, the Czech boss was full of praise for his side who had overcome a dismal 4-1 loss to Russia in their opening game to have an impressive tournament, having finished top of Group A with wins over Poland and Greece.
“Two-and-a-half years ago when I took charge, if someone had told me we’d be in the quarter-finals, after everything that happened in qualifying, I wouldn’t have believed them,” Bilek said.
“I have faith in my team, in their quality; I know they’re good. Right now, I’m quite satisfied. We’ve created a team with great qualities, great spirit, and I’m really happy we got so far especially after making such a hash of our first game.”
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