Coach Paulo Bento said there was work to do after his Portugal side missed the qualities of Cristiano Ronaldo in their 1-0 friendly win over fellow FIFA World Cup qualifiers Mexico yesterday.
Portugal have concerns over the fitness of talisman Ronaldo with the tournament just six days away. Having settled for a scoreless draw with Greece last weekend they were lacking potency once more.
The game looked all set to end goalless until stand-in skipper Bruno Alves popped up in injury time with a powerful header to seal a victory Portugal barely deserved. Manchester United winger Nani had been anonymous, while forward Eder failed to convince. All of which left Bento with plenty to ponder ahead of Tuesday's final warm-up match with the Republic of Ireland.
Bento had no fresh update on the fate of Ronaldo, who has now missed the last two games with knee and thigh injuries that are threatening to wreck his- and his country's - World Cup.
Four strong teams
"We struggled, mainly at the beginning, with Mexico's attacks," said Bento, whose side face Germany in their World Cup opener on June 16, followed by USA and Ghana in a very competitive Group G.
"It's going to be a balanced group with four strong teams so it's going to be very difficult for us, but we will fight to the end to achieve our first goal, which is to reach the knockout phase. We still have a few mistakes that we need to correct before the World Cup."
Mexico, playing their last friendly before heading to Brazil, have their problems too.They dropped striker Javier Hernandez after he failed to fire in a 1-0 defeat to Bosnia on Tuesday, but neither Giovani Dos Santos nor Oribe Peralta did enough to suggest they can trouble the hosts on June 17.
Coach Miguel Herrera was upbeat despite a second narrow defeat on the bounce. "Even if you lose this way, it's only a friendly," he said. "We have a week to analyze where we failed and where we need to adjust. We need to focus on better results but I like what I'm seeing and how the team is functioning.
"The goalkeeping tonight from Portugal was amazing and if we could have scored it would have been an almost perfect game."