Germany coach Joachim Loew is being heavily criticized by the country's media for his side's semifinal exit from Euro 2012.

Kicker says on its website that Loew ''gambled away'' Germany's best chance of ending a 16-year wait for international honors by ''seriously altering his lineup and tactics'' for Thursday's 2-1 defeat to Italy.

Kicker says the surprise inclusion of Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos to deal with the inform Andrea Pirlo backfired when Germany lost its balance ''on the field and in their heads.''

Former Germany player Olaf Thon told broadcaster RTL that Loew ''went too far. He's the substitution king of the Euros.''

German daily Bild says Loew ''lost a great chunk of his magic'' and ''Loew messed up. Loew really gambled it away.''