Portugal hopes for football feast

DURBAN - Carlos Queiroz is hoping for a spectacular feast of football when Portugal meet Brazil in the World Cup on Friday, but would settle for the point that will ensure his team reach the World Cup second round.

The Portugal coach said it was a matter of national "honour" for the teams to produce a match worthy of football's showpiece tournament in the highly-anticipated clash, which will decide which of the football powerhouses wins Group G.

"We hope to be able to play spectacular football, because at the end of the day that is what the World Cup is all about," he told a news conference at the Moses Mabhida stadium on Thursday.

"It's all about beautiful football, it's all about the technical quality of the game and the creativity of our players.

"We have to endeavour to play that kind of football at all times and the football must be king of the World Cup."

Brazil have already qualified for the last 16 courtesy of wins over North Korea and Ivory Coast.

Portugal would secure their place with a draw. If they lose to Brazil, the Ivory Coast, who face the Koreans in Friday's other group match, would still need to turn around a nine-goal deficit which looks highly unlikely.

Queiroz said the priority for Portugal, semi-finalists in Germany four years ago, would be to ensure they did not follow defending champions Italy with an early exit from South Africa.

"Tomorrow we will be playing to qualify, there can be no mistake about that," said the 57-year-old.

"We don't want to play tomorrow to draw but we want to play to win, we will try to win, but ultimately we want to ensure that we accumulate another point."

Portugal lost 6-2 the last time the two teams met in a friendly in 2008. Queiroz pointed out that his team had improved greatly since then and not conceded a goal in 21 of their last 25 games, including their first two matches in South Africa.

"When two teams like Brazil and Portugal play anything can happen .... we have defended well but we have to defend well and attack well, that is the magic formula," he said.

"We've seen Dunga's team playing, if there's not a good balance between our defensive play and our attack then they will simply take us apart."

Brazilian-born playmaker Deco has not recovered from a hip injury, while Ruben Amorim, who joined the squad as a replacement for midfielder Nani, is also unavailable with a thigh injury.

Queiroz said there were likely to be changes from the team that crushed North Korea 7-0 on Monday, tactically at least.

"We will have to adapt our team of course because Brazil is not North Korea."

Follow FFT.com on Twitter
Join FFT.com on Facebook