Portugal coach Paulo Bento relieved after dramatic win against Denmark


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The Independent Football

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 two good games now against two great opponents. 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 I think 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."

Denmark coach Morten Olsen, who now has injury worries concerning Niki Zimling, Dennis Rommedahl and Daniel Agger ahead of Sunday's match against Germany, was pleased with the performance if not the result.

"It's a horrible feeling to concede so close to the end and end up losing the game," he said.

"I was proud of the way we played against the Netherlands (winning 1-0) but in a sense I'm prouder here of our second-half performance.

"We couldn't get our reward in the end but that is the rule of the game and everyone experiences it once in their careers - but hopefully not much more than that.

"We merited a point. I think with a bit of luck we could have got a draw."