Germany coach Joachim Low said Friday the Italian nous was the difference between the sides in their Euro 2012 semifinal, which was decided by Mario Balotelli's first-half brace.
Mesut Ozil scored a late consolation penalty to make the final score 2-1, sending Low's heavily favored side crashing out of the competition.
"We have lost a game against an incredibly strong Italy team," Low said. "They have two brilliant strikers," he said, also referring to Antonio Cassano, who opposite coach Cesare Prandelli said had his best match of the tournament thus far.
"They were cleverer than us; they used their chances and took advantage of our mistakes," Low said.
He refused to draw any grand conclusions from the defeat, insisting Germany, the youngest side in the tournament, will take their opportunities in the future. "This is a development of the team, you can't win the title by just taking about it. For example, it took Spain time to reach success," he said.
"The team really moved forward in the last two years, we didn't make it today but there will be chances in the future." he added.
Spain play Italy on Sunday in the final, in Kiev.