Monday, 21 June 2010


A rampant Portugal side dispatched North Korea from the World Cup with a ruthless second half display this afternoon.

Carlos Queiroz's men led by just one goal at half time as the plucky North Koreans did their best to take something from the fixture.

After the interval Portugal looked like a changed side and Cristiano Ronaldo finally found some space to make things happen.

Portugal got their second in the 53rd minute and that was the signal for the floodgates to not just open, but collapse, as the Koreans shipped a further five goals on their way out of the tournament.

After the Ivory Coast's loss to Brazil last night Portugal were well aware their qualification from the group could come down to goal difference and that showed in the second half of the game.

Despite the Europeans taking a 23rd minute lead through Raul Meireles, North Korea put in an impressive effort, forcing Portugese 'keeper Eduardo into a couple of good stops.

However after the break every changed with the North Koreans appearing unable to continue their tiring running to chase the ball down that gave them such a respectable start to the tournament against Brazil.

Two goals in three minutes from Simao and Hugo Almeida put the game beyond the Koreans with less than an hour played. When former Chelsea midfielder Tiago added a fourth on the hour mark fans were left wandering how many.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit the crossbar with a magnificent effort before substitue Liedson capitalised on a defence error to fire home with his first touch of the game. Ronaldo finally got his goal two minutes from time after a fortunate deflection off his own head allowed him to tap into an empty net and Tiago grabbed his second to complete the rout just 60 seconds later.

With a nine goal and three point advantage over Ivory Coast it will take a stunning turn of events in the last round of group games for Portugal not to qualify for the last sixteen but when you're playing Brazil, anything can happen.

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