Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Portugal - 7th Heaven

Group G, 11:30 GMT, June 21, 2010
Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa

7 - 0
North Korea

Portugal produced a spectacular performance of fluidity and flair to earn their first win of the World Cup in style against 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.

Scoring Summary

PortugalNorth Korea
Raul Meireles (29')
Simão (53')
Hugo Almeida (56')
Tiago (60')
Liédson (81')
Cristiano Ronaldo (87')
Tiago (89')

Man of the Match: Fabio Coentrao


  • Man of the Match: Fabio Coentrao - The left-back was an impressive attacking outlet and his surging runs proved a constant menace. His pinpoint cross set up Hugo Almeida's goal and he also claimed an assist for Liedson and Tiago's goals. Combining well with Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiago, it was refreshing to see a full-back play with such freedom.

  • Portugal verdict: Increasingly dominant as the game went on, they grew in confidence with every goal scored, as the intense pre-match pressure subsided. North Korea were no walkovers and it was an impressive defensive performance from the Portuguese too. But it was in attack where Carlos Queiroz's side truly flourished, counter-attacking with speed and venom - they delivered a lesson in finishing.

  • North Korea verdict: Completely exposed on the counter-attack, the midfield was non-existent when asked to track back and defend. Out of the competition as all onlookers predicted before the tournament, it was a second-half collapse of epic proportions as the energy of the players ebbed away everytime the ball hit the back of the net.

  • Could do better: The North Korean players - It's not nice being embarassed on the world stage as the likes of Zaire and El Salvador can testify, but the organisation so prevalent against Brazil was nowhere to be seen. Must improve against the Ivory Coast if they are to reclaim any iota of pride.

  • Stat attack: It is only the second time Portugal have scored more than two goals in a match at the World Cup since 1966.

  • This was the highest number of goals scored by any team in the tournament till date in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Tiago scored 2 goals while Raul Meireles, Simao Sabrosa, Hugo Almeida, Liedson and Cristiano Ronaldo scored one goal each. 
    In the 1966 World Cup, Portugal had beaten the same North Koreans in the quarter finals – from a 3-0 situation they recovered to win 5-3.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment