Relief and happiness were the overriding sentiments after Portugal began their EURO 2020 campaign with victory over Hungary in Budapest this afternoon.
Coach Fernando Santos said he was surprised that Hungary sat back so much, admitted anxiety was becoming a problem for the team but insisted that all that mattered was getting the win, while Raphael Guerreiro and Danilo spoke about the importance of the first goal. PortuGOAL rounds up the match reaction.
Portugal coach, Fernando Santos:
“We wanted to start with a victory, but this is nothing more than three points. We have two very important games coming up. This is the European Championship and we have to be consistent. The most important thing is to get through the group phase and then we get to the do-or-die matches, as Scolari would say.
“I expected a different Hungary who sat deep, but they were also pushed right back by Portugal. We had four very good chances to score in the first half and if we had scored Hungary would have opened up. We didn’t score and then obviously things got complicated. In the second half we started well, but then we became anxious, which is normal. As time went by we got more anxious.
“Were the substitutions late? The team was playing well, with the game completely under control, pressuring our opponents and not letting them play. When the team was getting anxious, it was time to change. It was important to create space for Raphael [Guerreiro], so I decided to take off Jota who was playing well. I put on Renato to carry the ball forward. Portugal needed speed, imagination and verticality. That’s what I asked of Rafa and he did it well. Sometimes substitutions go well, sometimes they don’t. We won 3-0, so I think they went well.
“The crowd? It was great. When you play at this level you want to play with spectators, whether they are ours or of the opponents. I cannot fail to thank the four thousand Portuguese who were here; I heard then chanting for Portugal. It wasn’t only these ones in the stadium, but also in squares all up and down Portugal, for sure.”
Related: Hungary 0-3 Portugal match report
Portugal left-back, Raphael Guerreiro:
“Was the goal a relief? Yes, a big relief! It was a decisive goal, with a touch of luck, but I’m very happy to have scored and that afterwards we got two more goals. I’m very happy with this game. Our opponents were very strong, they defended very well. We had all of the ball. But we had to be patient.”
Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo:
“The important thing was to win. It was a tough game against a team that defended well for the 90 minutes, but we managed to score three goals and I’m very happy that the team helped me score two goals and be voted the man of the match. It was fundamental to start well to give us confidence and now we have to continue like this.”
Portugal midfielder, Renato Sanches:
“It was tough. We knew that playing against defensive and physical teams it would be difficult to score. But luckily we managed to score and win the game which is a good result. The next games will be tough, but we all know in a Euro all the teams are of high quality.”
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Portugal forward, Rafa Silva:
“The only thing missing was scoring the chances we made early on. We knew Hungary would try and defend. They did well in that aspect, and then tried to hit us on the counter-attack. All victories are decisive, are important. We’ll take it game by game and try to win them all.”
Portugal midfielder, Danilo:
“We needed to unlock the game with a goal. Afterwards it was easier to score. Then we managed to play some nice football and Ronaldo grabbed a brace. The goal was late, but it was enough to win the game.”
By Tom Kundert