North Korea blown out by Portugal, 7-0
The look says it all.
Portugal thoroughly destroyed North Korea 7-0 today at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town to surge into second place in the Group of Death. The team now owns four points and a gaudy goal differential that practically makes it a lock for the Round of 16.
Tiago scored twice and Cristiano Ronaldo ended his 16-month scoring drought in the 87th minute. He hadn't scored for his national team since February of 2009. Raul Meireles, Simao, Huge Almeida and Liedson accounted for the strikes, six of which came in the second half.
Portugal's seven goals blew away this year's tournament high after Germany and Argentina both fired in four goals in previous matches. It was the most goals scored in the World Cup since Germany's 8-0 win over Saudi Arabia in 2002.
PHOTOS: Portugal's win and the rest of the 2010 World Cup
The blowout also helps inflate the goals-per-game stat that was hovering around a miniscule 1.5 at the outset of the tournament. In fact, through the first six days, there were 1.65 goals scored per game (28 goals / 17 games). In the five days since, there have been 2.77 goals scored per game (36 goals / 13 games).
Though a 7-0 scoreline looks ugly, it was actually necessary given Portugal's standing in the group. The Portugese face Brazil (the best team in the tournament, so far) in its final game, while the Ivory Coast takes on North Korea, which is now eliminated.
Though Brazil will be playing without Kaka, it wouldn't be shocking if it handles Portugal and sweeps through the group with nine points. The Ivory Coast should defeat the dejected North Koreans. If that's the case (is anything the case in this tournament?) then the Ivory Coast and Portugal would each finish with four points. The tiebreaker would be goal differential and Portugal now has a hefty, 9-goal edge in that department.
Ronaldo must've felt like a wallflower at a high school dance for most of the game, but had to smile after his long-awaited strike. He sprinted into the box and touched the ball past goalie Ri Myong-Guk, who got his cleat on it. The ball popped into the air and fell onto Ronaldo's back, bounced over his head and onto his foot, so he could volley it in.
Up next is Swiss-Chile (which sounds delicious), followed by Spain-Honduras.