Portugal nearly did the unthinkable Tuesday, coming just inches from knocking the U.S. women’s national team out of the 2023 World Cup in the group stage.

Just one thing stood between the World Cup debutante and the Round of 16: A goalpost.

Portugal striker Ana Capeta took a shot in second-half stoppage time that ricocheted off the post. The close call preserved the scoreless draw that sent the USWNT (and not Portugal) to the knockout stage.

“It was by mere centimeters that we didn’t make another dream come true,” Capeta told Portuguese media after the draw. “We had already achieved the biggest dream of all football players by being the first Portuguese team to play at the World Cup. I think we were competent and deserved more, not only for what we did today but also for what we produced in all three matches.

“Every time I take to the field and take a shot I’m dreaming. I dreamed that we could make history and eliminate the United States in the group stage for the first time. I think anyone who watched this match at home and didn’t know the United States were world champions, they still wouldn’t have known it afterwards. We were far superior.”

She also said that what her team might lack in technique and tactics, “we make up for in spirit and desire. They will never beat us in that.”

All in all, she called it a “positive” first World Cup for Portugal, capped off by what Portugal coach Francisco Neto called the team’s “best game” of the tournament.

“I will be honest with you, when Ana hit the ball I was thinking it would be a goal and about what Vlatko would do and what I would have to do to stop him,” he said. “I swear, I truly believed it was going to be a goal. I told the girls I was very proud. Of course, they are very sad because we have huge expectation on ourselves.

“They felt that we were probably going to be the first team in the world that would eliminate the US in this stage. It was a huge opportunity for us but unfortunately we go home tomorrow.”