'We are hugely disappointed', says Klinsmann

July 4, 2006

DORTMUND, July 4 (Reuters) - Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann said it was a huge disappointment to lose 2-0 against Italy after extra time in the World Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

GettyImages / PhotographyGianluca Zambrotta gets up close and personal with Miroslav Klose.

'We are hugely disappointed (but) you can only compliment the team, they're a young team. It's amazing the spirit they showed, the character. They made a whole country really proud.'

'It's something very special to play a World Cup in your home country. It's been a huge succes for us as a team, for the country. It showed a whole new German face to the world.

'Congratulations to Italy for getting to the final. That's how it goes, that's what makes football so fascinating,' he added after German hearts were broken by two late goals.

'I congratulated Marcello Lippi and wished him good luck for Sunday,' said Klinsmann referring to the final in which Italy will face Portugal or France, who meet on Wednesday.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose agreed, saying: 'I think we can still be proud of this team. We have a lot of young players and I think we have a future.

'Both sides had shots on goal and chances to decide the match, but my compliments to the Italians. They played hard and scored a nice goal,' added the striker.

Italy went ahead with just over a minute of extra time left through fullback Fabio Grosso and then added a second goal almost immediately thanks to substitute Alessandro Del Piero.

'We had good chances to score,' said Germany left back Philipp Lahm. 'It's bitter to lose so close to the end of the match. We didn't lack any freshness.

'We were still fit, everyone could still run.

'There were two very good teams out there. There weren't many chances. It was a balanced match. We had our chances too.

'It's hard to find an explanation. We're naturally very disappointed. There is a lot of disappointment to lose here in Dortmund against Italy.'