Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bento proud of Portugal progression

SoccerNews in European Championships 22 Jun 2012

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Portugal coach Paulo Bento hailed his team’s tactical flexibility following their hard-fought 1-0 win over the Czech Republic at Euro 2012.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 79th-minute goal saw Portugal breakdown a stubborn Czech side, and Bento’s men through to the semi-finals of the UEFA tournament.

They faced a Czech Republic team content to sit back and soak up pressure, in stark contrast to the Netherlands team who took the game to Portugal in their last Group B match.

“For the first 20 to 25 minutes in the first half, it was very intense but at the same time we showed a great capacity to react to the Czechs,” Bento said.

“That’s why we qualified for the semi-final.”

“The question … was to create more possibilities and chances for shots on goal. This game was very different from the one against Holland. As we expected, the Czechs played deeper.

“They pressed against us when we went out of our half but then, in the second half, we had more chances to create our game. I explained something at half-time about the offence.

“We had always been good in the defence, but we showed what was possible in the last 20 minutes of the first half – we wanted to show that in the second half and we knew if we did that we could create a lot of chances.”

Portugal lost striker Helder Postiga to a hamstring injury just before half-time at the National Stadium, Warsaw, to be replaced by Hugo Almeida.

Portugal team doctor Henrique Jones confirmed Postiga is doubtful for the semi-final against France or Spain next Wednesday.

“We are going to evaluate the extent of the injury more closely tomorrow (Friday),” he said.

“But even if it is not a serious one, it looks inevitable he will be out of contention for the semi-finals.

“We are going to do all we can to ensure we get him back for the final.”

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