"Horrible" headlined O Jogo, one of Lisbon's three sporting newspapers. "Failure" splashed mainstream Diario de Noticias over a picture of celebrating American striker Brian McBride.
Columnist Antonio Tadeia of sports tabloid Record called the upset "a horror film" with Portugal showing "a tactical lack of orientation and shortage of physical ability".
"The Portuguese were also short of inspiration at the most important moments," he said. "There is a lot to do to reach the final eight."
A Bola newspaper exhorted "Get Up!" over a picture of collapsed midfielder Sergio Conceicao.
Midfielder Rui Costa, uninspired in Wednesday's Group D debacle, sought to console fans in a column for A Bola.
"People who have been following us forever must be as disappointed as we are, but we have to get our heads up and get out of this all together," he wrote.
Political leaders also sought to boost the team, who went into the tournament as one of the favourites. President Jorge Sampaio sent a message of support.
And Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso told reporters: "It's at moments like these that great teams show what they are made of."