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Bento insists Portugal will avoid defensive approach

15 November 2013 23:47

Paulo Bento insists Portugal will not employ a defensive mentality in their FIFA World Cup play-off second leg in Sweden.

Cristiano Ronaldo once again proved the difference for Portugal on Friday as he stooped to head home Miguel Veloso's teasing cross in the 82nd minute to earn Bento's side a 1-0 win in the first leg in Lisbon.

The pre-match build up was dominated by which Ballon d'Or contender - Ronaldo or Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic - would come to the fore, and it was the Real Madrid star who put his stamp on the match.

The victory was Portugal's first on home soil over Sweden, and gives them a slender lead ahead of Tuesday's return leg in Solna.

And Bento insists his charges will go to Sweden looking for another win.

"This is a play-off with two teams (that are) very balanced," he said. "We knew it was going to be balanced.

"Now the team is preparing to win in Sweden. We will not go there to defend the result."

Portugal dominated possession in the first half, but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities.

But the hosts were far more assured in the second period, and Bento believes Portugal could have had more to show for their efforts.

He added: "We had a great chance early in the game. Then Sweden responded with a cross, (which was) virtually their only chance in 90 minutes.

"Overall, in the second half we were much, much better. We were dominating the whole game, something most evident in the second half.

"We created more scoring opportunities to achieve a (better) result.

"The players are to be congratulated for what they did, and for the attitude demonstrated."

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