Germany feeling Low

Manager admits to sub-standard performance, while Ballack demands

Germany coach Joachim Low insists his side deserved to lose 2-1 to Croatia in Euro 2008 Group B.

Goals from Darijo Srna and Ivica Olic gave Croatia, who are now in the quarter-finals following Austria's draw with Poland in Thursday's late kick-off, the points as Germany could only respond through Lukas Podolski.

And Low, who saw substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger dismissed in injury time, admits his side were second best.

"It's clear looking back on the match that we deserved to lose," said Low.

"As a team we were unable to be precise enough and fast enough to really cause Croatia problems.


"We were unable to play our combinations or a fluid game. The Croatians sat back after they scored their first goal and we were unable to penetrate their defence, so we have to accept defeat."

Meanwhile, midfielder Michael Ballack believes Germany suffered from complacency after defeating Poland in their opening game.

And the Chelsea star is demanding improvements ahead of a must-win meeting with co-hosts Austria on Monday.

"Perhaps we thought we had already achieved something," added Ballack.

"Our movement was not fluid enough throughout the match and as a consequence we eked out few chances.

"We played below our level in all departments. Now we absolutely have to win our last match against Austria."