Portugal boss Fernando Santos has insisted that his side will be present at the 2022 World Cup.
A Selecao only needed a draw against Serbia on Sunday night to secure automatic qualification for next year’s tournament, and the two teams were level entering the final exchanges in Lisbon.
Aleksandar Mitrovic came up with a spectacular late winner for Serbia, though, meaning that Portugal will have to negotiate their way through the playoffs in order to secure a position in the finals.
Santos said that his side ‘did not do what they should have done’ on Sunday, but the experienced head coach has insisted that Os Navegadores “will be in Qatar”.
“We will be in Qatar. We didn’t do what we should have done, but we’ll get through. We always play to win, thinking about attacking and not defending… but things don’t always go our way,” Santos told RTP.
Portugal have not failed to qualify for the finals of a World Cup since 1998, reaching the round of 16 in two of their last three participations in the biggest competition in international football.