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Portugal vs. North Korea: How the World Cup's first goal fest unfolded

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Roberto Candia/AP

(Read caption) North Korea goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk lay on the field after Portugal scored the fourth of its seven goals during Monday's Portugal vs. North Korea game in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Portugal arrived at this World Cup with some of the best players in Europe and a team that was less than the sum of its parts. The Iberians finished second in a weak qualifying group and they had to earn a spot via a playoff against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In Cape Town, the Portuguese finally showed the form that they are capable of. They demolished North Korea 7-0 with a sparkling display of crisp passing, fast counterattacks, and clinical finishing.

It was the biggest win of the tournament so far and confirmed Portugal as serious contenders for the title. An added bonus was a goal for Cristiano Ronaldo in the dying moments that ended his two-year goal drought for the national team.

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It was Raúl Meireles who started the rout in the 29th minute when he ran onto a pass from Tiago Mendes to fire the ball under advancing goalkeeper Ri Myong-Guk.

At this point there was no indication of the goalfest to come. North Korea ended the first half down only one goal, and appeared determined and looked capable of coming back.


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