Christiano Ronaldo finally scored his first goal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Portugal’s defeat of North Korea Monday. The rest of the team chipped in to complete the rout 7-0.
Raul Meirles opened the scoring for the Portugese on a rain soaked field at Green Point Stadium on a through ball from Tiago that left him wide open in front of the net. The Portugese failed to score the rest of the first half, and the North Koreans looked to still have a chance to save a point.
The Portugese offensive barrage started with eight minutes gone in the second half when Simao was released on a similar ball from Meireless that left North Korean keeper Ri Myong-Guk wondering if his defense had come out of the locker room after halftime. Simao had no trouble beating the defenseless Myong-Guk.
North Korean coach Kim Jong Hun blamed himself for the defensive mishaps, citing a poor strategy decision as the reason for conceding seven goals.
“Tactically speaking, we fell apart and we couldn’t block their attacks,” Jong Hun said. “It was my fault for not playing the right strategy and that is why we conceded a lot of goals.”
Ronaldo assisted his teammates in getting on the score sheet before adding his own name to the list in the 87th minute. He sent a pass to Tiago that allowed the midfielder to net his first of two goals, four minutes after Hugo Almeida gave the Portugese a 2-0 lead.
“It was a great day for Portugal and Portuguese football,” coach Carlos Queiroz said. “The players are really happy with the way they played, the attitude for the game, the beautiful football, the beautiful goals.”
The Portugese bench even got in on the goal scoring when Leidson came on in the 77th minute. The Portugese are now in second place in Group G with four points behind Brazil with six. The Ivory Coast is still alive with their one point from the game with Portugal, and North Korea cannot advance after losing both of their opening matches.
Ronaldo had gone 16 months without a goal for his country before finding the ball on the back of his neck, pulling it down, and beating the keeper.
Soccer sportsbooks have set the Portugese as the underdogs in their next match with the Brazilians at +240. The Brazilians line is set at +125, and the over/under for total goals scored in the game is set at 2 1/2.