Portugal coach Paulo Bento was full of praise for his side’s character after they defeated the Netherlands and reached the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.
Cristiano Ronaldo, previously disappointing in the tournament, turned on the style in Kharkiv, scoring both goals in the 2-1 victory.
However, rather than concentrate on a brilliant individual performance, Bento preferred to concentrate on a solid team effort.
“I am proud of what we did as a team,” said Bento, who is highly thought of by those who bet on sport.
“We did that brilliantly with a great united organisation that we have had in the three games we have played.”
Netherlands went into the final Group B clash needing a win by two clear goals to stand any chance of reaching the last eight. They got off to the perfect start when Rafael van der Vaart’s curling strike put them ahead.
The goal sparked Portugal into life and they soon took a grip on the contest. Ronaldo equalised from Joao Pereira’s precise pass and won the game late on with another composed finish.
The victory saw Portugal finish second in the group behind Germany, who completed a clean sweep of victories with a 2-1 win over Denmark in Lviv. Bento’s men will face the Czech Republic in the next round as they look to defy online betting odds and achieve European success for the first time in their history.
The Portugal boss believes his side are improving and was delighted with the way they bounced back from the opening defeat by Germany.
“They did what we asked them to do. Today we can even talk about some brilliance. It was the best game we have played so far, apart from the first 12 minutes,” added Bento.
“We have been loyal to our spirit and that is what we are proud of.”