WALES manager Chris Coleman said he was proud of his team after it was eliminated by a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal at Euro 2016 in the semi-final.
The Real Madrid star outshone club teammate Gareth Bale to score one goal and set up another to line up a final against France or Germany in Paris on Monday morning (AEST).
Ronaldo was always going to be Wales’ biggest threat, and so it proved with a powerful header on 50 minutes breaking the deadlock before his shot was re-directed past Wayne Hennessey by Nani three minutes later.
Wales were deprived of key players Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey through suspension and both were missed as Portugal won for the first time in the tournament inside 90 minutes.
Coleman’s side never looked likely to launch a comeback.
Indeed, it was Portugal that threatened to add more goals, despite Bale trying his best to lead his side back into contention.
“I can’t say I’m disappointed with any of my players,” Coleman said after the loss in Lyon. “They’ve all been fantastic.
“The first goal in a game like this, the team that scores it gets a huge boost in confidence, and for us to concede again so quickly afterwards, it’s a huge disappointment.
“I said at half-time, Portugal have paid us a huge compliment by setting up in the way they did, to deny us space, but you have to congratulate them.
“They had a plan and it worked.
“They played as a team and once they’d got the two goals it was too difficult for us.
“We couldn’t do it tonight.”