Queiroz makes his point after rout
CAPETOWN // Carlos Queiroz, the Portugal manager saw his side run riot over North Korea, but insisted the majestic display will count for nothing if they fail to produce a similar performance against Brazil in three days time. The Group G powerhouses go head-to-head in Durban on Friday and, although Brazil lead the group on six points - Portugal have four - the Europeans' majestic 7-0 win has given them a vastly superior goal difference that all but guarantees their passage to the next round.
The Durban showdown, however, will determine which side finishes top of the group. Portugal, Queiroz said, will be ready. "We played wonderfully, with great attitude and reverence," said Queiroz. "Some of our football was beautiful and it was great day for the Portuguese team. Now we need to muster up the same type of performance against Brazil." The five-time winners will represent a somewhat stiffer challenge than the one posed by the plucky Asian minnows, but Queiroz, who expects Korea to score against the Ivory Coast in the groups other final game, believes his team has rediscovered its cutting edge.
"We scored seven goals yes, but we only won three points," the former Real Madrid coach added. "We need to be more ambitious and determined than we have been if we want more points before the next stage. We need to be play in a competitive way and fight for each ball, pass, goal and tackle. Without that it is impossible to have a winning team. "But we also need our players to feel free to express themselves and play the type of football that is inside them. We always play in our style, using skill to penetrate, and when we add goals it is fantastic."
From the moment Raul Meireles tucked away a Tiago through ball in the 29th minute, at a drenched Green Point Stadium, the floodgates threatened to open. Goals from Simao, Hugo Almeida and Tiago in a devastating seven-minute spell at the start of the second half ended the contest, but Portugal were far from finished. Meireles and Fabio Coentrao both missed easy chances before Ronaldo hit the bar with a stunning, 25-yard drive. Then, with North Korea's Jong Tae-se and Hong Yong-jo struggling to create chances, substitute Liedson made it five. Ronaldo took advantage of a fortunate double bounce off his back and head to make it six, his first international goal in 16 months, before a Tiago header completed the magnificent seven.
"I said to everyone that the goals were coming and they did, not just for me but for everyone. To score seven is amazing," said Ronaldo It was the most one-sided World Cup match since Germany thrashed Saudi Arabia 8-0 in 2002. "Tactically, we fell apart and we couldn't block their attacks," Kim Jong-hun, the North Korea coach, said. "It was my fault for not playing the right strategy and that is why we conceded a lot of goals." firstname.lastname@example.org Man of the match Tiago (Portugal)
Published: June 22, 2010 04:00 AM