Monday, 21st June 2010
Portugal in Seventh Heaven
Portugal vs North Korea
in Cape Town
North Korea, who did so well against
Brazil - holding out for 55 minutes and scoring a consolation goal in the last - would
have to go one step better against Portugal; who themselves only had one point on the
board, from their game against Ivory Coast.
Cristiano Ronaldo, already on a yellow card, would miss the Portugal vs Brazil game with another booking here; so we
expected football, not diving.
North Korea started a little more adventurous than they did against
Brazil, which in turn gave Portugal more space to run into.
From a corner in the seventh minute, North Korea's Ri Myong-Guk came
off his line and totally missed the ball; giving Ricardo Carvalho a free header onto the
top corner of the upright.
A few minutes later, Cha Jong-Hyok gave Portugal a minor scare as his
shot screamed wide of Eduardo's goal.
North Korea put together some good passing to get into the Portugal
box in the seventeenth minute; Eduardo needing to get his hand to Hong Yong-Jo's surprise
attempt at goal. Not a great shot but cause for concern; all made possible because the
ball rolled away from Ronaldo, who had drifted into the middle a little in search of the
Two minutes after North Korea were falsely called offside, Tiago found
plenty of room in the middle to comfortably thread the final ball through a gap in the
North Korea penalty area, for Raul Meireles to finish.
At the start of the second-half, Portugal streaked forward and Tiago's
shot had to be tipped over the bar; as the Europeans tried to show that they were back in
A couple of minutes later, Jabulani caused Ri Myong-Guk problems;
bouncing, bobbling and generally not wanting to be cleanly gathered. We've seen those go
The pressure paid off as Simão ran on to a Meireles through-ball;
after a neat chested one-two on the edge of the North Korean area.
North Korea paid the price for being adventurous and it looked like
the floodgates were finally opened: as two minutes later Hugo Almeida headed Fabio
Coentrão's cross home; then on the hour it was the turn of Cristiano Ronaldo to provide
In less than six minutes North Korea were completely taken apart and
their World Cup dreams truly sunk by an all-guns blazing, Portuguese side.
With plenty of free runs, it only seemed a matter of time before
Cristiano Ronaldo would add his name to the scoresheet as well.
Instead it was Liedson, only on the pitch for a few minutes, who
crashed in Portugal's fifth.
But there was still time for Cristiano Ronaldo not to disappoint, then
Tiago joined the rout to put Portugal in seventh heaven and leave Sven Goran Eriksson deep
in a goal difference hole - even if Ivory Coast could beat North Korea and Brazil were to
beat Portugal in the last group games.
Portugal 7 North Korea 0
1:0 Raul Meireles (29 mins)
2:0 Simão (54 mins)
3:0 Hugo Almeida (56 mins)
4:0 Tiago (60 mins)
5:0 Liedson (81 mins)
6:0 Cristiano Ronaldo (88 mins)
7:0 Tiago (89 mins)
Man of The Match:
Raul Meireles - Although only on the pitch for 70 minutes, he did the most to break down
the North Korean resistance.
1 Eduardo; 23 Fabio Coentrão, 2 Bruno Alves, 6 Ricardo Carvalho, 13 Miguel; 16 Raul
Meireles, 8 Pedro Mendes, 19 Tiago; 18 Hugo Almeida, 11 Simão, 7 Cristiano Ronaldo.
1 Ri Myong-Guk; 8 Ji Yun-Nam, 5 Ri Kwang-Chon, 3 Ri Jun-Il, 13 Pak Chol-Jin, 2 Cha
Jong-Hyok; 4 Pak Nam-Chol, 17 An Yong-Hak, 11 Mun In-Guk; 10 Hong Yong-Jo, 9 Jong Tae-Se.
Pablo Pozo (Chile)
58 Mins (North Korea) - 6 Kim Kum-Il on for 4 Pak Nam-Chol
58 Mins (North Korea) - 15 Kim Yong-Jun on for 11 Mun In-Guk
70 Mins (Portugal) - 14 Miguel Veloso on for 16 Raul Meireles
74 Mins (Portugal) - 5 Duda on for 11 Simão
75 Mins (North Korea) - 16 Nam Song-Chol on for 2 Cha Jong-Hyok
77 Mins (Portugal) - 9 Liedson on for 18 Hugo Almeida
32 Mins - Pak Chol-Jin (North Korea)
38 Mins - Pedro Mendes (Portugal)
47 Mins - Hong Yong-Jo (North Korea)
70 Mins - Hugo Almeida (Portugal)
0 Red Cards.
Portugal beat North Korea (5:3) in the Liverpool quarter-final at England 1966.
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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