Portugal have no preference over semi-final foe

Portugal dismissed the feeble challenge posed by ultra-defensive Czech Republic and then coach Paulo Bento insisted he doesn't mind who they face next.

Cristiano Ronaldo capped a dazzling individual display, in which he twice struck the post, with the only goal of Portugal's 1-0 quarter-final victory.

Next up they will face either neighbours Spain or France, who meet in Saturday's quarter-final in Donetsk.

Spain are the holders in this competition, lifted the World Cup two years ago and are the number one team in the world.

France, on the other hand, are in the knock-out rounds of a major competition for the first time since reaching the 2006 World Cup final, where they lost to Italy on penalties.

At both the 2008 Euros and 2010 World Cup they failed to win a single game and crashed out in humiliating fashion.

And yet while the one appear to be far more fearful foes than the other, Bento says he doesn't mind which team Portugal get.

"In the semi-finals of a great tournament like this there are always great teams with different characteristics and players of great quality," said the 43-year-old former international defender, whose last experience of the Euros was in 2000 when he got a six month ban for ripping a red card out of the referee's hand in the bad-tempered climax to the semi-final with France.

"The teams are very organised and that's why I don't have any preference as to who we meet.

"We're through, we worked really hard to get here and now we must try to recover (physically) as much as possible and then we'll try to take to the field in the best conditions."

This may no longer be the golden generation of Portuguese talent -- which won successive FIFA World Youth Championships in 1989 and 1991 and went on to reach the Euro semi-finals in 2000 and the final in 2004, as well as a World Cup semi-final in 2006 -- but Bento is confident that his side can challenge anyone.

"I was never worried about these players because they have quality and work really hard," he said.

"I'm very confident in the 23 players of this squad and once again we'll show the necessary response (in the semis)."

Although Spain are undoubtedly the better side, Bento's indifference is perhaps related to Portugal's sorry history in semi-finals.

In the Euros of 1984 and 2000 and the 2006 World Cup they lost to France in the semi-finals while their only defeat to Spain in the knock-out rounds of a major competition was in the last 16 at the World Cup two years ago.

In either case, they've never beaten those teams in such an important match.

And to do so for the first time, they are going to need to play at least as well as they did against the Czechs.

Bento spoke about efficiency being the key to his side's quarter-final success and they will certainly need more of the same if they are to reach the final, as they did on home soil in 2004.

"We've always shown great efficiency in defence and that's why it's very well-deserved that we've qualified for the semi-finals," said Bento.

"The important thing (against the Czechs) was to create many possibilities and opportunities to shoot.

"This game was very different from the (group game) against Holland, we expected the Czechs to play deep.

"They pushed up against us when we went out of our half but then in the second half we had more opportunities to create chances."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • PSEi breaches 8,000 level, but profit-taking pared most gains

    [caption id="attachment_257092" align="alignleft" width="150"] PSEi breaches 8,000 mark (PSE photo)[/caption] Local share prices surged on a slew of positive news from abroad, sending the Philippine Stock Exchange index past the 8,000 mark for the first time in history. BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said the market rose due to “positive foreign equity portfolio flows and Fed Chair Yellen’s comments last week reiterating thethat the FOMC will be data dependent and …

  • Abandoned, hard-up husband hits P60-M Lotto pot

    Lady luck finally smiled on a hard-up tricycle driver, who endured being abandoned by his wife and seeing his children drop out of school before hitting the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/45 Lotto jackpot worth nearly P60 million. PCSO acting chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the 29-year old lucky bettor hit the jackpot in the March 20 draw by correctly picking the winning numbers 02-03-14-22-29-30, which corresponds to the birth anniversary dates of his family members. …

  • News In Brief

    P/$ RATE CLOSES AT P44.80/$1The peso exchange rate closed  lower  at P44.80  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from P44.76  last  Friday.  The weighted average rate  unchanged  to  P44.796  from  P44.796.  Total volume amounted to $340.6 million.PUMP PRICES RAISED THIS WEEKThe pump prices of gasoline products will be raised by P1.10 per liter this week and diesel by P0.60 per liter, according to the oil companies. In an advisory to the media, the oil …

  • Need for modern national sports complex underscored

    Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday pushed for the construction of a “state-of-the-art” and “highly scientific sports complex” that can be used by the country’s national athletes for high-level training and total wellness program. Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, said the government should at least provide decent support to its athletes by providing them with ultramodern sports venues and facilities if it wants them to improve the country’s …

  • Makati mayor slams PNP’s role in mayoralty row

    Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay denounced what he called apparent “misuse” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) force in the implementation of “selective suspension” of government officials not allied with the ruling party. Binay said he sympathizes with PNP personnel who often got caught in the middle of political conflicts, and called for an end to dirty political tactics. [caption id="attachment_257243" align="aligncenter" width="648"] THANKSGIVING MEAL – Vice President Jejomar C. …

  • EVAP warns of unscrupulous foreign electric vehicle suppliers

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines  (EVAP) has cautioned local manufacturers and end users against unscrupulous foreign EV suppliers that are flocking into the domestic market. In a sunrise industry like the electric vehicle industry, EVAP stressed that choosing the right partner or supplier is a difficult task. “In the absence of any track record to review, an end user is at a loss as to how to choose a reliable and competent supplier,” said Atty. Bodie Pulido, EVAP …

  • Mayors laud bill increasing tax revenue allocation for LGUs

    The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) is backing the proposed increase in the annual automatic allocations for local government units (LGUs) to boost inclusive growth with improved infrastructure, modernized agriculture and easier access to resources. Mayor Jess Burahan, secretary-general of the LMP said the empowerment of LGUs through added resources is a game changer in boosting inclusive growth. …

  • Freeze order against Jinggoy assets final; Bong guards face raps

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has turned down with finality the plea of Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to lift the freeze order on his properties amounting to more than P183 million. In a resolution released yesterday, the Fifth Division denied Estrada’s motion for reconsideration that sought that the court lift its writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment that was issued on February 17 that ordered the freeze of his properties. “As movant has not filed a counterbond and his arguments …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options