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Monday, 12 June, 2000, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
Keegan: We threw it away
A disappointed Kevin Keegan was forced to admit his England side "threw away" a perfect start against Portugal as they collapsed to a shattering 3-2 defeat.
Paul Scholes and Steve McManaman had coverted fine crosses from David Beckham to put England two goals to the good inside the first 18 minutes.
But Portugal exposed defensive shortcomings to roar back with three fine goals and take all three points to go top of Group A.
Keegan conceded after the game: "You go 2-0 up and you've got to fancy your chances of going on to win.
"We've not conceded many goals since I came into the job 15 months ago but we got caught a couple of times ball watching.
"We gave people a bit too much time. It was a tough game, played at a fast pace with no quarter given or asked.
"It is not the result I wanted but we will have to take it on the chin.
"They were a good side who showed plenty of resilience and were always going to make us work hard."
Perhaps unaware of Beckham's gesture as he left the field, Keegan paid tribute to his wayward star:
"He was very, very unlucky to be on the losing side tonight. His performance was world class."
Asked about the injuries to Steve McManaman, Tony Adams and Michael Owen, Keegan added: "McManaman is possibly bad, but Adams we think had cramp."
Former England boss Terry Venables bemoaned England's lack of midfield firepower after their crushing defeat.
Venables, who took England to the semi-finals of the event four years ago, said: "I think in midfield if you've got four players and they've got five, you are going to find it tough.
"If they had four in there we would be up against it but when they had five I felt we had to match them. otherwise they would always get that space.
"We played with two strikers up and that left us one light.
Another former England boss Bobby Robson added: "Keegan has to take stock, look at who did well and who didn't.
"But it's not all over. We just need to find a win from somewhere."
By contrast, Portugal coach Humberto Coelho at the way his side had fought back to overhaul England after the first 20 minutes.
"We have been working for this for two years," he said.
"I think the team played really well. We did concede two goals in the first half, but that was a warning. We felt they were two lucky goals because we were in charge of the game.
"I'm satisfied because we managed to turn things around. This is a team that is mentally and physically fit and is prepared to win each game."
But he stopped short of predicting Portugal could now go all the way, reminding reporters: "We have only won one game."
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