Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari blamed his defence for the goal which condemned the hosts to a 1-0 defeat by Greece in the Euro 2004 final.
"It hurts," admitted the 55-year-old Brazilian. "However they were the better team and one piece of sloppy defending cost us.
"We ask forgiveness from all the Portuguese because we weren't able to achieve the goal that we all wanted.
"It's hard to lose this way - to play a game this way, without scoring goals."
Scolari praised the quality of Greece's defensive display - their man-marking tactics were devised by their German coach Otto Rehhagel - during the final.
But he refused to be downbeat about the final loss and insisted his focus would now turn to qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
"Of course I'm not happy with the result," he added.
"But I also want to say to the Portuguese people that this is not the end of the
story for us, we are European vice-champions, we are going to keep working and
we are going to win something in the future."