CAPE TOWN - Portugal's 7-0 walloping of North Korea left coach Carlos Queiroz in awe of his players and the "beautiful football" they had produced as he heralded a great day for his country and Portuguese football.
Portugal enjoyed their biggest-ever World Cup victory on Monday, surpassing even the five goals they had scored in their remarkable 1966 World Cup match against North Korea, when they fought back from three goals down to win 5-3.
"I would like to express my great satisfaction to the Portuguese players for the wonderful way in which they played, their great attitude, reverence for the game, the beautiful football, the beautiful goals," said a smiling Queiroz.
While mindful of Portugal's remaining Group G match against mighty Brazil, he highlighted the sheer pleasure of the football his team played and called it a "prize" for their motivation.
"It is important that players enjoy the game... and play the way they know to play football. And when we can add those things to goals it is wonderful and really fantastic," he added.
A three-goal burst between the 53rd and 60th minutes effectively killed the game as Simao Sambrosa, forward Hugo Almeida and midfielder Tiago gave Portugal a 4-0 lead with 30 minutes left in slippery conditions at Green Point Stadium.
Queiroz, former coach of host nation South Africa, said that while Portugal had put on a great performance, they needed also to stay focused ahead of the game with five-times champions Brazil, already qualified from Group G with six points.
"We don't want Brazil to score any goals against us because we want to keep our reputation and our prestige," he said.
"We are going to concentrate all our efforts, all our attention on the last game of the group stage in order to get to the last round."
He stressed that while Portugal scored seven goals, they still only got three points for the victory.
"We have to be more ambitious and more determined for the next phases," he told reporters.
North Korea's second loss, after a 2-1 defeat by Brazil, ended the Asian side's hopes of reaching the second round.
Queiroz praised the North Koreans' endeavour and their dignified conduct, saying he would support the lowest-ranked World Cup team in their last game against the Ivory Coast.
"North Korea played in a very dignified manner without fouling any other players and with their heads very high."
North Korea coach Kim Jong-hun said his team played to their full potential but fell apart tactically as they chased an equaliser after Raul Meireles got the opener in the 29th minute.
"The Portuguese attack became more aggressive as the game continued... the (Korean) attack and defence wasn't balanced out well, that's why we conceded some of the goals. The players became agitated and couldn't fight well defensively," Kim said.comments