Jun 27, 2016

    Santos hails Portugal's tactical triumph


    PORTUGAL substitute Ricardo Quaresma's extra-time winner left coach Fernando Santos praising his team for executing his orders after a tactical game of cat-and-mouse with a Croatia side many tipped to win Euro 2016.

    Portugal soaked up enormous pressure, with Quaresma heading Cristiano Ronaldo's parried shot into an empty net in the 117th minute to secure a 1-0 win and put them into the quarter-finals against Poland.

    Portugal conceded possession to Croatia for long spells.

    But the fact that neither side managed a shot on target until Ronaldo's late effort that led to the goal shows how well the respective teams' defensive plans worked.

    The intriguing tactical battle led to few chances but Santos made no apologies for how the game looked as a spectacle.

    "Sometimes, we'd like to play a pretty game but that's not always how you win tournaments. We have evolved in some aspects and that's what we want to do."

    Portugal next face a clash on Thursday in Marseille against Poland.