Portugal net seven past North Korea
Portugal produced a spectacular performance of fluidity and flair to earn their first win of the World Cup in style with a 7-0 victory over North Korea.
Having failed to impress in their opening Group G stalemate with the Ivory Coast, Carlos Queiroz's side were under pressure to deliver against North Korea with a showdown against Brazil still to come.
And they did that emphatically as Raul Meireles scored in the first half before Simao Sabrosa, Hugo Almeida and Tiago hit one apiece within seven second-half minutes. Liedson and Cristiano Ronaldo got in on the act before Tiago grabbed his second in the dying minutes.
In the 29th minute the impressive Meireles opened the scoring. Breaking into the box, he was found by Tiago's clever ball and expertly drove the ball beyond Ri Myong-guk.
Jong Tae-se's deflected drive from a free-kick was saved by Eduardo and at the other end Almeida failed to finish off a nice move down the left when he could not convert Fabio Coentrao's cross. However, it was 2-0 in the 53rd minute.
Almeida held up a long ball for Meireles and when the midfielder saw Simao bursting into the box to his right, the pass perfectly set up his team-mate for a straightforward finish.
North Korea were deflated and it was soon over as a contest. In the 56th minute Fabio Coentrao was put clear down the left and his perfectly-pitched cross found Almeida, who made no mistake with the header.
North Korea coach Kim Jong-hun sent on two substitutes in response but it was to no avail as Tiago added to the deficit, rushing forward to sweep home Ronaldo's cut-back from the left on the hour mark.
Ronaldo kept plugging away as he looked to break his two-year barren spell before Liedson made it 5-0 four minutes after coming off the bench. Fellow replacement Duda whipped in a ball which Ri Kwang-chon failed to clear, allowing Brazil-born Liedson to hammer home on the turn.
Ronaldo finally got his goal when Liedson capitalised on a defensive mix-up to put him through before he rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home and Tiago headed home his second to complete the rout in the 89th minute.
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