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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 June 2006, 21:44 GMT 22:44 UK
Scolari salutes 'heroic victory'
Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari
Luiz Felipe Scolari described Portugal's 1-0 win over Holland which booked a World Cup quarter-final against England as an "heroic victory".

The match finished nine against nine after 16 yellow cards and four reds and Scolari blamed Dutch play-acting.

"In three-and-a-half years of coaching Portugal I've never ended a match with just nine players," said the coach.

"Fifa always talks about fair play but tonight we saw several gestures that were anything but."

It is the second major tournament in a row that Scolari's Portugal have beaten Holland, but the Brazilian's side were forced to do it the hard way.

I don't think that it was such a violent match to merit so many sendings off

Matchwinner Maniche

They had midfielder Costinha sent off just before the break and Deco followed him in the second half for a second booking.

Scolari admitted: "There were excesses on both sides - but the sending off of Deco was provocation."

Holland saw Khalid Boulahrouz and Giovanni van Bronckhorst dismissed.

Portugal skipper Luis Figo said: "From the start of the tournament our great strength has resided in our unity and the great support of the whole country.

"It was an extremely difficult game. We were good in the first half. After we started playing with nine men it was a lot of work.

"The team should be congratulated for demonstrating such character."

Maniche, who also scored the match-winner in Portugal's Euro 2004 semi-final victory over the Dutch, echoed Figo's sentiments.

But he also blamed the Russian referee for overreacting to too many situations.

"We are a talented squad and we deserved the victory," said Maniche.

"I think we won because we are a great group, a group of talented players, a group of friends too - this is a tasty win for Portugal.

"The referee did not contribute to the spectacle. I don't think that it was such a violent match to merit so many sendings off."

Portugal 1-0 Holland
25 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
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