Santos praises Portugal teamwork
Portugal head coach Fernando Santos praised a real team effort after a winner-takes-all victory over Switzerland in their final World Cup qualifier.
A 2-0 triumph in Lisbon was enough for the European champion to finish top of Group B and secure automatic qualification, leaving the Swiss to join Sweden, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Croatia in the play-offs.
I had confidence in my players and luckily they gave me this gift.Fernando Santos
And Santos, who led his side to European Championship glory last year, was delighted to have got the job done without the need for two extra games.
He said: "I always thought it was possible. I had confidence in my players and luckily they gave me this gift.
"When you have quality and organisation you are always closer to winning. Not all of the 90 minutes were perfect, but fortunately we won and we are in Russia.
"I always believe in my players. I believe in our work, in the work of the technical team and in the work of the federation. It is this collaboration that gives us this result."
Portugal are now priced at 250/1 to win the World Cup for the first time, with Spain available at 12121/1 and France 1/2.
Meanwhile, in the North American CONCACAF section, Panama qualified for the finals for the first time, while the United States missed out altogether after losing 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago.
Mexico and Costa Rica had already ensured their qualification, with Honduras finishing fourth in the standings to set up a play-off against Australia.
View all Soccer betting