Matthijs de Ligt felt Netherlands were scared to attack Germany in the first half of their Euro 2020 qualifying defeat in Amsterdam.
Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane scored fantastic goals to put Joachim Low's side 2-0 up at the break in Group C on Sunday.
De Ligt's first international goal halved the deficit shortly after the restart with Memphis Depay then drawing Ronald Koeman's men level.
But Germany, who were beaten 3-0 by Netherlands in the Nations League last year, snatched the points in the last minute when Nico Schulz struck.
Koeman made changes at half-time to get his side back in the game and Ajax captain De Ligt accepted Netherlands were too passive in the opening period.
"The first half wasn't good," the teenage centre-back told NOS. "We didn't put on the pressure and they had a lot of space.
"Germany has very skillful players with guys like Sane, Gnabry, [Leon] Goretzka and [Toni] Kroos.
"Maybe we were somehow scared to attack Germany. In the second half we showed we're a good team, but that was too late.
"It's the Dutch mentality to try to score a third goal. You could keep pressing or defend and we did the first thing, but you should remain focused and we lacked in the end."
Virgil van Dijk agreed with De Ligt's assessment, both centre-backs having appeared unsettled by Low's use of a formation that included no strikers but saw Sane and Gnabry roam off the flanks.
"We knew we have a long way to go and tonight proved that," the Liverpool defender told NOS. "We came back so well and then you should grab a point at least. Too bad it didn't work out that way.
"We had difficulties in the first half. They had a lot of movement and we weren't organised well. We improved a lot in the second half when Frenkie de Jong played more from midfield."
25 de abril 2019
|Rockets´ Capela explains why he wants to face Warriors|
|LeBron disputes reported rift with Lakers front office|
|Copa Libertadores Review: River Plate advance, Boca Juniors held|
|Kovac unsure about contentious penalty decision|
|Kerr calls Lillard´s game-winner against Thunder a ´good shot´|
|Griezmann important for future at Atletico – Simeone|
|Russell ´definitely´ wants to stay with Nets|
|Fernandinho to have scan on knee injury|
|Top prospect Guerrero called up by Blue Jays|
|Solskjaer agrees with Keane that United need ´right characters´|
|Emery not blaming Leno for Wolves loss|
|Guardiola ´likes to be critical´ of Man City derby hero Sane|
|Kruse bemoans ´ridiculous´ penalty in DFB-Pokal semi-final|
|Lazio condemn ´simplistic´ reporting of alleged racist incidents|
|Solskjaer: United not good enough to match City|
|Keane takes aim at Fred for ´cheating´ in Man United´s derby defeat|
|Kompany: Still all to play for in Premier League title race|
24 de abril 2019
|Rashford: We did not play like Manchester United|
|Arsenal can still secure top-four spot - Emery|
|Guardiola and Man City break records in derby win at Old Trafford|
|Kvitova eases through in Stuttgart, Istanbul seeds tumble|
|Manchester United 0 Manchester City 2: Silva & Sane send visitors back to summit|
|AC Milan 0 Lazio 1 (agg 0-1): Correa winner earns Inzaghi´s men revenge|
|Werder Bremen 2 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski double sends Kovac´s men into final|
|Wolves 3 Arsenal 1: Stunning first-half display hurts Gunners´ top-four hopes|
|Ferrer to face Nadal in Barcelona as Fognini withdraws|
|United States earn ODI status for first time|
|Bordalas wary of ´awesome´ Benzema|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Valencia 2: Late Correa stunner seals win as Barca´s title party is delayed|
|Keane on Pogba: I wouldn´t believe a word he says|
|De Villiers, Stoinis inspire in-form RCB to another win|
|Gayle & Russell headline Windies World Cup squad|
|Former Barcelona chief Rosell acquitted of money laundering|
|United v City: Darmian and Pereira in as Solskjaer wields axe|
|Mourinho: Some players might think I´m a b******|
|Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe? Who is Europe´s most prolific young goalscorer?|
|Steelers sign Roethlisberger to two-year contract extension|
|Frank Lampard charged with misconduct by FA|
|Zidane: Bale sale not required to sign Hazard|
|Player sacked after missing Panenka in shoot-out loss|
|FA welcomes anti-racism manifesto backed by Sterling|
|Ravens make Tucker highest-paid kicker in NFL|
|Nadal fights back to halt Mayer in Barcelona|
|Springbok De Jager sold on three-year Sale deal|
|AFC Champions League Review: Holders Kashima Antlers suffer first defeat|
|Alaphilippe defends Fleche Wallonne title in tight finish|
|Cowboys pick up Ezekiel Elliott´s fifth-year option|
|Champions Cup final quintet nominated for European Player of the Year|
|NFL Draft 2019: How does Kyler Murray compare to QBs taken first overall?|
|Pukki, Sharp and Abraham top PFA Championship Team of the Year|
|Mourinho recharged by rest but not planning Premier League return|
|Pro14 set for brotherly battle as Jerry Sexton joins Southern Kings|
|Sometimes things I want don´t happen – Zidane cagey over futures of Navas, Courtois|
|Hamilton desperate to improve on Baku struggles|
|Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi undergoes successful surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton and Bottas seeking historic one-two - Azerbaijan GP in numbers|
|LaLiga is the primary goal – Zidane out to end Barca´s recent dominance next term|
|NRL Opta facts: Roosters hoping to address poor ANZAC Day record|
|Ulreich: Nubel should hold off on Bayern Munich move|
|Almiron a doubt for Copa America due to hamstring injury|
|I´m still a Manchester United fan - Blind hopeful of resurgence under Solskjaer|
|Golden Knights blast ´embarrassing´ penalty call in dramatic Sharks defeat|
|Rangnick lauds RB Leipzig´s unique rise|
|Turin to host ATP Finals from 2021 to 2025|
|Chelsea manager Sarri charged by FA|
|I was just waving goodbye to them - Lillard sends Thunder packing|
|Manchester United players will have no hiding place against City - Solskjaer|
|Ortiz will not replace Miller to fight Joshua|
|United v City: De Gea, Pogba and the Red Devils´ stars in need of a ´reality check´|
|United v City: Aguero ready to shine after Old Trafford absences|