Bento: Portugal will still make it to Brazil

The 43-year-old coach says he is confident his side can reach the 2014 World Cup, despite failing to defeat Northern Ireland on Tuesday night
Paulo Bento believes his team will still make it to Brazil after they were held to disappointing 1-1 draw by the Green and Whites at Estadio Do Dragao.

Helder Postiga equalised for Portugal after Niall McGinn had put his side ahead on the half-hour mark.

Bento's team now lie third in Group F, behind Russia and Israel, after taking seven points from their first four matches.

"I still believe that we will be in Brazil in 2014," the 43-year-old told RTP.

"The situation [now] depends on us [qualifying] via the play-off, no longer [by being in] first place.

"We are dissatisfied because we would have given joy to the Portuguese [fans] but we can only hope that in the next game we get back on the [right] path.

"It was a bad result and a first-half that we did not play well in.

"It's true that the defence had no problems, although we suffered [from] some anxiety and pressure after the goal.

"In the second-half there was more intensity and we made a series of opportunities that could have won us the match if we had been remotely effective," he added.

Postiga also gave his take on what Portugal fans will ultimately see as a disappointing result.

"We knew the importance of this game," said the 30-year-old. "We wanted to avenge the defeat in Russia but could not.

"We must correct these mistakes. The [surrounding] teams are closing further [on us].

"There are still many games to go. We know the importance of putting in a double shift [against Israel and Azerbaijan in March]."