Northern Ireland boss O'Neill beaming after Portugal point

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill was full of pride after their draw with Portugal in their World Cup qualifier.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill was full of pride after their draw with Portugal in their World Cup qualifier.

O'Neill could scarcely conceal his pride after seeing his side come within touching distance of a famous win at Porto's Dragao Stadium.

"I'm hugely proud of the effort and what the players gave us tonight. I think we saw a huge amount of character in this team.

"It's a huge result. I don't tend to get carried away and the main thing for me is that regardless of the result, I was proud to stand there tonight and be their manager.

"That's because of what they gave to the cause and to each other."

The notion that O'Neill would leave Portugal frustrated at sharing the spoils seemed unthinkable before the match, but he admitted to a hint of regret having seen his side hold out for so long.

"We're very disappointed only to draw but we recognised that we would have to defend for our lives and that certainly proved to be the case, especially in the second half," he said.

"Having gone that far it was a bit of a blow (to concede). But we got what we deserved, simple as that, and I'm immensely proud of the players. There was nothing more I could ask from first to last."

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