Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Santos is sure that stuttering Portugal will show their class

Portugal coach Fernando Santos made no apologies for their dire 1-0 extra-time victory over Croatia which secured a Euro 2016 quarter-final spot.

The first shot on goal registered by either side came in the 117th minute with the otherwise anonymous Cristiano Ronaldo's effort rebounding for substitute Ricardo Quaresma to head in from a couple of yards.

It meant Portugal reached the last eight without having won a match in 90 minutes, but Santos was unrepentant.

"Sometimes you have to be pragmatic. It would be nice to play pretty, but that's not always how you win tournaments," he said.

"We were up against an amazing team and this was always going to be tight and strong.

"It was a very tactical match. At times we could have passed the ball faster, but Croatia influenced that.

"We didn't allow them to counter-attack, but going forwards we do have room for improvement."

Belfast Telegraph