Euro 2012: Never-say-die Portugal now up and running, says Paulo Bento

Portugal head coach Paulo Bento. Picture: Getty

Portugal head coach Paulo Bento. Picture: Getty

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PORTUGAL coach Paulo Bento remains confident his side are on the right track after their late 3-2 win over Denmark in Lviv kept alive their hopes of qualifying from Group B.

After squandering a 2-0 lead, substitute Silvestre Varela snatched a winner three minutes from time to give the Portuguese their first points.

Nicklas Bendtner thought he had earned a draw for the Danes after scoring twice to cancel out early goals from Pepe and Helder Postiga but Varela’s effort throws the group wide open.

“We suffered after the first game (a 1-0 defeat to Germany) but these three points means it is now in our hands,” said Bento. “We’ve had obstacles but we’re continuing on our path – the right path. Our organisation was good but we can still improve.”

Despite the fact they conceded a two-goal lead Bento felt it would have been harsh had his side lost. “We created chances, especially in the first half, and 2-0 would have been a just result at half-time,” he added. “In the second period we didn’t sit back on our lead we looked for a third. The equaliser was unjust but we didn’t bow our heads, we showed character and got the winner we deserved.”