Portugal rip North Korea to shreds with magnificent 7-0 win
Portugal moved to within touching distance of the round of 16 with a crushing 7-0 win against North Korea.
Despite torrential rain in the first half, the match was played at a lively tempo and, having led 1-0 at half-time, Portugal cut loose in the second period with six goals.
Raul Meireles put Portugal ahead after 28 minutes as he made a well-timed run into the North Korea box and slotted the ball under goalkeeper Myong Guk.
Simao made it 2-0 when he calmly finished a crisp Portuguese move, and Hugo Almeida’s header from a swift counter-attack increased the lead to 3-0.
Cristiano Ronaldo then laid a nicely weighted pass for Tiago, who stroked the ball into the bottom corner, before Liedson came off the bench to hammer home a fifth goal.
Portugal captain Ronaldo was influential as he roamed infield from his wide position, and he cracked one long-range effort against the crossbar before tapping in a sixth goal.
Portugal concluded the scoring as Tiago claimed his second with a pinpoint header.
The next challenge for Carlos Queiroz’s men is their final group match against Brazil, where the victors will qualify for the last 16 as Group G winners.
Even if they lose, however, Portugal are likely to qualify ahead of Ivory Coast because of a vastly superior goal difference.
So with goals flying in and their talisman Ronaldo in form, Portugal look like a side to be feared; a team capable of mounting a serious World Cup challenge.