Portugal Hammer Koreans As Spain Get Back On Track
Tuesday, 22nd June 2010 at 08:50am
Iberian Peninsula sides Spain and Portugal ignited their World Cup campaigns in South Africa last night with wins which could see the two teams avoid each other in the Round of 16.
In the first match of the night, Portugal thrashed North Korea by seven goals to nil in what was their biggest ever World Cup win after being held by the Ivory Coast, while Spain defeated Honduras to rebound after their surprise defeat to Switzerland in their opening match in the late kick off.
In the remaining fixture, Chile overcame Switzerland by a goal to nil.
In the Group G match between Carlos Queiroz's men and North Korea, the Asian side made a strong side and had a couple of chance to score before Raul Meireles ran onto a perfect through ball from Tiago to fire Portugal into the lead.
Korea were just a single goal down at the break, but a devastating second 45-minute performance from Portugal saw Queiroz's side score six times as Portugal romped to victory.
Simao, Hugo Almeida, Tiago, Leidson and Ronaldo all scored after the break to put Portugal six goals in front before Tiago wrapped up the scoring with his second and Portugal's seventh on 89 minutes.
In Group H, a second half goal from former Liverpool winger Mark Gonzalez was enough to separate Chile and Switzerland and leave the South Americans on the brink of reaching the last 16.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's team were forced to play the majority of the game with just 10 men after Valon Behrami was harshly sent off for raising a hand to Arturo Vidal.
Switzerland can still qualify for the knock out phase provided they beat Honduras on Friday and Chile either hold or beat Spain.
In the final game of the day, David Villa scored twice to give Spain a comfortable win and put them back into contention for lifting the World title.
Coach Vincente Del Bosque started the match with Fernando Torres and David Villa up front and was indebted to the new Barcelona striker's accuracy as his partner Torres missed a number of chances as he continues to come back from injury.
Villa scored either side of half time as Spain picked up the three points their dominant performance deserved.