A "very fair victory" that came from the "huge willingness, will, will and determination of the players". That's how the coach Fernando Santos reacts to Portugal's triumph this Wednesday, 1 September, against the Republic of Ireland by 2-1, at Estádio Algarve.
At the press conference after the end of the game, the Portuguese coach considered that «Portugal was better», deserving the victory.
"There was a moment or two when the players maybe not doing so well, but they always believed until the end that it was possible to win," he added.
Portugal only scored in the last minutes, at 89 and 90+5′, by Cristiano Ronaldo, but Fernando Santos doesn't think that this will pinch the fact that Portugal "have dominated".
“We started well, we had the penalty. I think that after 20 minutes, we didn't have the same ability to not let the opponent out to play. The game was a game in which we dominated, but in which the opponent was creating some dangerous situations for us. Until the end of the first part, things were like this. We came out losing to half-time, with an unfair result», analyzed the selector.
In the second part, Portugal was «controlling the game, but without creating opportunities of great danger».
Towards the end, «we ended up managing to reach the goals», in a «fair victory, but very sweaty».
As for the record of Ronaldo, who has now become the best scorer ever for national teams around the world, Fernando Santos did not hide his happiness.
“We were all happy to have Ronaldo as the best scorer ever, but it was always going to happen. It wasn't today, it would be another game», he concluded.
Portugal now has 10 points, from four games, in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. The next game will be on Tuesday, the 7th, against Azerbaijan.