Magnificent 7

Portugal dished up the performance of the World Cup so far, running riot in against a spirited but ultimately limited North Korea side and hammering them 7-0 in the process. The thumping victory puts Portugal in the driving for qualification to the next round. They will have to play a depleted Brazil side who won’t want to be doing Ivory Coast any favours after they cheated to get Kakà sent off last night.

After a cagey first half, during which the Portuguese stuttered to a 1-0 lead, it was the last thing anyone had expected, but the Koreans tired badly and some slack defending let their opponents fill their boots. Even Cristiano Ronaldo scored. It took them 29 minutes to score their first, when Raul Meireles latched onto Tiago’s magnificent through ball to slot home, and the rest of the first half was cautious.

However, three goals in seven minutes – the first coming on 53 minutes when Simao finished off a lovely move – ended Korean hopes, and left them open to an onslaught. Three further strikes did wonders for Portugal’s goal difference, and Ronaldo was even gifted a open goal to score, when the ball rolled off his back and neck and plopped in front of his feet eight yards out. How nice for him.

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