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Friday, June 25, 2010
Queiroz hails Portugal after 'feast'

Boos rained down on the Moses Mabhida Stadium pitch on Friday after fans watched a goalless draw between Portugal and Brazil in their final World Cup Group G game.

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Two sides normally associated with breathtaking, end-to-end football disappointed as the South Americans clinched first place in the group and Portugal claimed the point they needed to advance to the second round.

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz insisted, however, that the contest contained plenty of excitement.

"I think it was a great show, a football feast,'' he said. "Brazil played very strong in the first few minutes but after their initial period of domination, Portugal slowly started to control the game.

"In the end, it was a game where we attacked and they defended. Today is a day to celebrate because Portugal has qualified with a great degree of merit.

"It was a great game of football, the players played extremely well and they must be congratulated. I think the draw was a fair result.''

Queiroz, whose side finished one point clear of the Ivory Coast, insisted Portugal could take positives from the performance.

"We did not concede a goal and from our last 26 games, we have now kept a clean sheet in our last 22,'' he said. "Today, my players were ready to sacrifice themselves, to fight in order to get a result.

"When you play against a Brazil side that has beautiful and great players, you have to give everything. I think my team as a whole merited the man-of-the-match award.''

Brazil coach Dunga conceded the South Americans had not produced their best form.

The match in Durban failed to live up to expectations and Dunga was left disappointed with the outcome.

"No, we are not happy,'' he said. "Brazil always plays to win and we tried to attack until the end. Portugal didn't want to attack, they wanted to defend. My team is always ready to go forward and that was the case today.''

Dunga admitted his side were frustrated by Portugal's defensive tactics. "The Portuguese team defended from midfield backwards,'' he said. "It made it difficult to penetrate their defence. We nevertheless had three or four goalscoring opportunities.''

Both Nilmar and substitute Ramires forced Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo into making great saves as the Portuguese held on for a point.

Dunga believes the absence of suspended Kaka and injured Elano in midfield did not hinder his side.

"Kaka and Elano are exceptional players,'' said Dunga. "But the way in which Portugal played, it would have made it difficult for Kaka and Elano to help us more today.''




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