Paulo Bento insisted Portugal "got the got the winner we deserved" as Silvestre Varela's goal three minutes from time earned victory after Denmark had pulled it back to 2-2.
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Paulo Bento felt his Portugal team "got the got the winner we deserved" as Silvestre Varela's goal three minutes from time earned a remarkable 3-2 victory over Denmark that revives their hopes of advancing from Group B. A circumspect Morten Olsen said it was one of those things, but he departs Lviv feeling as proud of his side as ever.
Morten Olsen, Denmark coach
It's a horrible feeling to concede so close to the end and end up losing the game. I think we started well and were on top for the first ten minutes, winning three or four corners, but Portugal came into it and began dominating without really threatening. We struggled to find our rhythm but we really improved in the second half and in the last ten minutes we came into our own.
I was proud of the way we played against the Netherlands [winning 1-0], but in a sense I'm prouder here of our second-half performance. We couldn't get our reward in the end but that is the rule of the game and everyone experiences it once in their careers; but hopefully not much more than that. We merited a point. I think with a bit of luck we could have got a draw.
Every player has qualities and we missed Niki Zimling [when he went off with an injury on 16 minutes]. He helps build up our game, so we had to fix it in the second half and find a solution. It's good we had the ball the most but it is goals that count; our goals were also better but Portugal got three. The last goal came from a situation where people are tired, we only half-cleared, but that's how it is. We put Lasse Schøne in and he was fresh, a guy with a real shot on him, and he could have scored.
I think it will be difficult for injured players – Zimling, [Dennis] Rommedahl and [Daniel] Agger – to be back on Sunday [against Germany] but we'll see. What Agger showed tonight was a real captain's performance.
Paulo Bento, Portugal coach
It was different to the Germany game – we scored – but beyond that we continued what we did against Germany. Our organisation was good but we can still improve. We created chances, especially in the first half, and I think 2-0 would have been a just result at half-time. In the second period we didn't sit back on our lead; we looked for a third. We benefitted from the fact Denmark were looking for a goal and we controlled the game.
We didn't lose our concentration. Denmark scored from their first real chance. We had great control until then and in the first half it was going well. Denmark's goal opened things up and we went in search of a third while retaining defensive control. The team were focused throughout and showed real quality. The equaliser was unjust but we didn't bow our heads; we showed character and got the winner we deserved.
We've had two good games now against two great opponents. We've had obstacles but we're continuing on our path, the right path. We suffered after the first game but these three points means it is now in our hands. We need to get the players ready to face the Netherlands.