Low hails German response
Joachim Low believes Germany have sent out a warning after beating Portugal 3-2 to reach the Euro 2008 semi-finals.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 19/06/08 11:17pm
Joachim Low believes Germany have sent out a warning to their Euro 2008 rivals after claiming an impressive 3-2 win over Portugal to reach the semi-finals.
The Germany coach felt his side were back to their best in Basel after disappointing displays against Austria and Croatia in Group B.
The Germans got off to a great start with two goals in five minutes from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose, before Nuno Gomes gave Portugal hope just before the break.
But Michael Ballack restored Germany's two-goal lead just after the hour and Germany held on despite a late header from Portugal substitute Helder Postiga.
"We had a lot of courage, combined well and moved well without the ball - all the things that we've done well in the past we did tonight," said Low.
Send a signal
"Against Austria and Croatia, we did not play well. That is why tonight we tried to send a signal.
"After the Austria match we saw we had to make some changes. We wanted to shut down the space in Portugal's midfield, and to go from defence to attack really quickly, which we managed to do."
The 48-year-old had to watch from a box after being handed a touchline ban but will return to the dug-out for Germany's semi-final clash against either Croatia or Turkey.
"Sitting behind the window in the stands was really difficult," he said.
"It's a lot more nerve-wracking because you're so far from the pitch.
"I was a long way from the pitch and from on high you see things better but it is too far from the action.
"He (assistant Hansi Flick) did a great job," Low added.
"There were some things during the match he did absolutely right, like putting Michael Ballack a bit further back during the phase when they put us under some pressure."
Schweinsteiger dedicated the win to Low after making an impressive return from suspension.
The Bayern Munich midfielder was one of three changes to the German side and scored a 22nd-minute opener before taking free-kicks for both Klose and Ballack to score.
"In my eyes we played with our best side," he said.
"We put pressure on Portugal without letting up. We were playing for our coach Joachim Low, who had to sit in the stands."
Ballack felt Germany were worthy winners after making changes following their 1-0 group win over Austria.
"I think we deserved it," said the Germany captain.
"We started really well, we changed our system and became more compact, and we played fantastically well, especially in the first half."