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Russia desire pleases unbeaten Capello

Published: Saturday 13 October 2012, 12.31CET
Russia coach Fabio Capello was delighted with his team's "commitment and desire" as they continued their perfect start in qualifying Group F with a 1-0 victory against Portugal.
Russia desire pleases unbeaten Capello
Cristiano Ronaldo tries to evade Russia's Vasili Berezutski ©AFP/Getty Images

Published: Saturday 13 October 2012, 12.31CET

Russia desire pleases unbeaten Capello

Russia coach Fabio Capello was delighted with his team's "commitment and desire" as they continued their perfect start in qualifying Group F with a 1-0 victory against Portugal.

Russia coach Fabio Capello hailed the commitment and desire of his team after they narrowly defeated Portugal in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group F, but declared that he will ask his players to swiftly forget about the 1-0 victory and focus on Tuesday's match against Azerbaijan. Opposite number Paulo Bento, meanwhile, felt his side's first defeat in the section was unjust.

Fabio Capello, Russia coach
We expected a tough game, but played with huge commitment and desire and these qualities helped us to win. Another important detail was the fans supporting our team and urging them on – that helped us a lot. Portugal are a great team filled with quality players, but we managed to withstand their pressure and this makes our victory even more valuable. There was not a single Russia player who gave less than 100%.

Starting from today's meal in the hotel and until the very last minute before our next game with Azerbaijan, I will do my best to avoid complacency. I will tell my players to forget this result and start preparing for Tuesday. We have got a victory over very strong opponents, which will raise our confidence, but we are only three games into qualifying. This is only three points.

Paulo Bento, Portugal coach
I don't think we played badly. We reacted well after conceding early. Perhaps we lacked some composure, but we still played our way and tried to equalise. Unfortunately, Russia were outstanding today and we were not good in the final stages, giving the ball away too often. I don't think it is a fair result. After arriving in Moscow we never thought about drawing – we aimed to win the game. Everybody is really disappointed now, but I still have faith in my players.

Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Russia forward
[It is] a deserved victory. We expected a tough game because we faced very strong opposition. As for my goal, my team-mates did brilliantly and [Roman] Shirokov gave me a great pass. I actually tried to put it into the corner, but failed to do so – that is football. It was very difficult to watch the closing stages from the bench, but then it seemed like Portugal stopped playing after 75 minutes.

Roman Shirokov, Russia midfielder
We won the match with teamwork and our compact game. We wanted to keep possession at the end as Portugal raised the pressure. We are favourites in the group now, because we are three points ahead of Portugal. Underestimating Azerbaijan is forbidden. We understand the importance of the next game.

Last updated: 13/10/12 20.41CET

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