Portugal strong enough to beat Bosnia: Bento
Portugal, losing finalists in 2004, will face outsiders Bosnia in their Euro 2012 play-off while Estonia take on the Republic of Ireland following yesterday's draw in Krakow, Poland
Portugal, losing finalists in 2004, will face outsiders Bosnia in their Euro 2012 play-off while Estonia take on the Republic of Ireland following yesterday's draw in Krakow, Poland. In the other ties, 1996 runners-up the Czech Republic will take on Montenegro, who had only just achieved independence when the 2008 finals took place, and Guus Hiddink-coached Turkey will meet Croatia.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Bento
The first legs will be spread between November 11 and 12 with the returns all on November 15. The Bosnians, who came within 13 minutes of automatic qualification and forcing France into the playoffs, will enjoy home advantage for the home leg.
But they will then have to negotiate a tough trip to Lisbon to face Cristiano Ronaldo and company as the eastern Europeans attempt to reach the finals for the first time. Portugal, who lost out in their group to Denmark having started off with a 4-4 draw at home to no-hopers Cyprus, just edged out the same play-off opposition two years ago as they won both games 1-0 to advance to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento said: "We have a strong team and now we must concentrate on beating Bosnia. It is very important for us to do so. I am confident next year we shall be playing in Poland and Ukraine."