Portugal have produced the biggest win in the 2010 World Cup to date, demolishing North Korea 7-0 in Cape Town.
Venue: Green Point Stadium – Cape Town
Referee: Pablo Pozo (CHI)
Yellow cards: POR - Pedro Mendes 38’, Hugo Almeida 70’
PRK - Pak Chol-Jin 32’, Hong Yong-Jo 47’
After an early Ricardo Carvalho header slammed into the post, Portugal were controlling the ball in midfield but North Korea almost took the lead in the 21st minute when skipper Hong Jong-Yo flashed in a shot from the right which was beaten away by Eduardo and unfortunately for the Asians, Pak Nam-Chol’s follow up header went wide of the mark.
The rain was falling heavily in Cape Town and there were a few passes going askew but Tiago managed a perfectly weighted pass to Raul Meireles inside the area who made no mistake and slotted it past Ri Myong-Guk to make it 1-0 in the 29th minute but there were few other chances in the opening term which ended with that scoreline.
Portugal kicked into gear in the early stages of the second half with some sublime ball movement and it created their second goal in the 53rd minute when Hugo Almeida flicked a smart backheel to Meireles on the edge of the area who cut out a pass to Simao who was all by himself and he required just one touch to send it between the legs of Ri Myong-Guk.
Minutes later, there was a third goal, this time scored by Almeida who easily sent home an unmarked header from a Fabio Coentrao cross from the left flank. Portugal were undeniably on top and dominating the North Koreans who were forced to make a double change in the 58th minute.
The substitutions didn’t help as Portugal netted a fourth on the hour-mark when Cristiano Ronaldo set up Tiago from the left flank and the Atletico Madrid man flashed it home from the top of the penalty area giving Ri little chance to make a save.
Carlos Queiroz’s men could smell blood and wanted more goals as Ronaldo was supplying plenty of sweet treats for his teammates and he even tried his luck from way outside the area but the crossbar was there to deny him.
In the 81st minute, substitute Liedson was handed a gift when North Korean defender Ri Kwang-Chon made a costly error and the Portugal striker pounced from close range to make it 5-0 and finally, in the dying moments, Ronaldo got his first international goal in two years when he skipped pat the North Korean keeper to slot home.
A minute later, Tiago grabbed his second when he headed home to give his nation their best result in a World Cup, surpassing the 4-0 win over Poland in 2002.
Subs - Miguel Veloso (70’), Duda (74’), Liedson (77’)
Ri Myong-Guk (gk), Cha Jong-Hyok (Nam S.C. 75’), Ri Jun-Il, Pak Nam-Chol (Kim K.I. 58’), Ri Kwang-Chon, Ji Yun-Nam, Jong Tae-Se, Hong Yong-Jo, Mun In-Guk (Kim Y.J. 58’), Pak Chol-Jin, An Yong-Hak
Subs - Kim Kum-Il (58’), Kim Yong-Jun (58’), Nam Song-Chol (75’)