JOHANNESBURG: Portugal thrashed North Korea 7-0 on Monday in the World Cup`s highest score so far, restoring some bruised pride for Europe`s stuttering soccer powers and dashing the Asians` chances of progress.
Little-known North Korea were back at a World Cup for the first time since they stunned the world in England 44 years ago.
But there was no repeat of that fairy-tale run when they took a three-goal lead against Portugal in the 1966 quarter-finals before Eusebio scored four to inspire a 5-3 comeback for the Europeans in one of the all-time great games.
Portugal`s modern generation made an easier job of it. Watched by Eusebio in Cape Town, they pierced the Koreans` much-vaunted defence with ease time-and-time again.
Cristiano Ronaldo won man of the match and notched the sixth goal -- his first for Portugal in a competitive match in two years -- in a rout that left North Korea on zero points after two games and effectively out of the tournament though they have a match left.
BDST: 2004hrs, June 21, 2010