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Last Updated: Monday, 5 July, 2004, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Scolari remains upbeat

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer in Lisbon

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari
Maybe we didn't do some things as well as we could have done
Luzi Felipe Scolari
Portugal coach
Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari set aside his disappointment at losing the Euro 2004 final to insist his side will be a force at the 2006 World Cup.

Scolari's side were left heartbroken by Greece's second-half winner but the Brazilian remained optimistic.

He said: "We've lost in the final of the European Championships, so we will keep working the way we have been.

"If we keep working like that then in the future we will win something - but I must congratulate Greece."

Portugal have been drawn with Russia, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg in their 2006 World Cup qualifying group.

And Portugal's recent form suggests that they will be the team to beat in Group Three.

I can say only that the Greek defence was magnificent
Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari
His side were undone in the Euro 2004 final by a Greece side branded ultra-defensive but Scolari refused to criticise their tactics.

He added: "They have been playing like this since the beginning of the tournament and they are very good at it.

"I congratulate both them and my colleague Otto Rehhagel. It is up to us, as the more offensive team, to find a way through these defensive systems."

"It is up to us to find another way of winning. They have a wonderful defence and it works well.

I need to rest and think and then I will make a decision
Portugal's Luis Figo
"They play on the mistakes of the opponents. They scored the goal and won.

"They marked very well and stopped us and maybe we didn't do some things as well as we could have done.

"But I can say only that the Greek defence was magnificent and say well done for the magnificent job they have done."

And Scolari stated: "I think we were patient but in the last 10 minutes of the game there were too many stoppages.

"Maybe one or two of our players were getting nervous but I think we have been one of the most disciplined teams tactically in the competition."

Links to more Portugal stories



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