But an upbeat Santos was pleased with what he saw from his team, who are top of Group I in qualifying ahead of a clash against Albania on Monday.
"It's clear that we have to improve our game in some aspects but I guess we had a good performance," he told reporters.
"We made it an open game, as I've said, for moments the game was under Portugal's control, in others, it was France time.
"So I guess we showed that we can beat France. It wasn't the case today, here, but I believe it will be so in some months, when we are over there, in France."
Portugal endured a disappointing World Cup 2014 campaign, failing to navigate their way out of the group stage.