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Missed chances upset Moutinho

Joao Moutinho lamented the times Portugal hit the woodwork against Azerbaijan, insisting they could have scored more than three.

It took a while in coming but, after hitting the woodwork on numerous occasions, Portugal eventually broke the deadlock before going on to secure a 3-0 win, and the Porto midfielder was adamant it could have been more had they had more luck.

“The shots were just unlucky to hit the post. The result could have been much bigger than what it was,” Moutinho told reporters after the game.

“After (the break), we created more opportunities and made more goals. We thought we were going to score every time.

“The victory was the most important thing. The ball would not go in [during the first half] but the public helped us.”

Moutinho’s team-mate, Nani, declared that anxiety was beginning to set in before Silvestre Varela netted the opening goal in the 64th minute.

“We played very well, we created a lot of opportunities, we hit the post a lot. We were getting a little anxious but thankfully we managed to score in the second half,” he said.

Despite their ill fortune for large parts of the game, Portugal coach Paulo Bento expressed his satisfaction that his side maintained their focus and also looked forward to the next round of fixtures.

“The 0-0 at the break was an unfair result but in the second half the players didn’t lose their judgment, and weren’t rushed. We are to be congratulated and also the public, who supported us from start to finish,” he told RTP.

“We will have time to think about Russia. We will analyse the best strategy. We will play to try and win in Moscow and finish after the next two games (against Russia and Northern Ireland) with 12 points.”

Wed 12 September, 2012
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