Bento: Portugal will reach Brazil
By Football News
Portugal manager Paulo Bento said his team will still make it to the World Cup despite a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland at Estadio Do Dragao.
Helder Postiga equalised for Portugal after Niall McGinn had put his side ahead on the half-hour mark of the World Cup qualifier.
Bento's team now lie third in Group F, behind Russia and Israel, after taking seven points from their first four matches.
"I still believe that we will be in Brazil in 2014," the 43-year-old told RTP.
"The situation depends on us (qualifying) via the play-off, no longer (by being in) first place.
"We are dissatisfied because we would have given joy to the Portuguese (fans) but we can only hope that in the next game we get back on the (right) path.
"It was a bad result and a first-half that we did not play well in.
"It's true that the defence had no problems, although we suffered (from) some anxiety and pressure after the goal.
"In the second-half there was more intensity and we made a series of opportunities that could have won us the match if we had been remotely effective."
Goalscorer Postiga said they were keen to atone against Northern Ireland for previous poor performances, but now have a daunting challenge before them to qualify for the 2014 showpiece event.
"We knew the importance of this game," the 30-year-old said.
"We wanted to avenge the defeat in Russia but could not.
"We must correct these mistakes. The (surrounding) teams are closing further (on us).
"There are still many games to go. We know the importance of putting in a double shift (against Israel and Azerbaijan in March)."