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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK

We'll learn lessons, says Eriksson

Sven-Goran Eriksson paid tribute to a "very good" Brazil side after their 2-1 victory over England on Friday.

The England coach said he was disappointed with his team's ball retention against 10 men in the second half.

But he believes his young players will take valuable experience from this World Cup and be better placed to compete at the 2004 European Championships.

The South Americans had Ronaldinho - the scorer of the winning goal - sent off after 57 minutes, but Eriksson's men were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage.

"I hoped we'd do better 11 versus 10, but we were tired and Brazil were very good at keeping the ball," he said.

"I don't think we had one shot on goal.

"We lost a little bit of shape and at the end we knocked in balls to the three Brazilian central defenders instead of having more patience and trying to come round them.

"Once it was 2-1 we were not strong enough to come back.

" We had a great opportunity to reach the semi-final and we didn't take it. "
Sven-Goran Eriksson

"But, no regrets. We had a great opportunity to reach the semi-final and we didn't take it."

Eriksson took some heart from a tournament that has seen England beat Argentina and concede just three goals in five matches.

"I had hoped to do better today but I think we have learned a lot about many things," Eriksson said.

"We have a lot of young players in the squad who will be better in two years time.

"Congratulations to Brazil, they have a very good team and play very good football."

England midfielder Trevor Sinclair said Brazil's equaliser on the stroke of half-time was the crucial moment in the game.

"It was a terrible blow to lose that goal right on half-time.

"It turned the game their way. We were winning, and if we could have got to half-time and then taken stock, things might have been different.

"But it was a great bit of skill by Ronaldinho to create the opening for Rivaldo and he did the business with a world-class finish.

" Brazil are a decent side, so it is not that difficult to take in terms of who knocked us out "
Michael Owen

"The game turned away from us at crucial times. I thought when we were 1-0 up we had lots of options and could have scored more, but it was not to be and we are all disappointed in the dressing room.

"It is a massive disappointment, but this team is young enough and talented enough to come again.

England goalscorer Owen said: "Brazil are a decent side, so it is not that difficult to take in terms of who knocked us out.

"But we are all so disappointed because some people said it was the best chance we would have in a long time with all the favourites getting knocked out.

"We have got to take positives out of the World Cup, otherwise we will be walking around with our heads down for weeks."


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