World Cup Group G preview: Portugal v North Korea

by  |  earlier

0 LIKES UnLike

World Cup Group G preview: Portugal v North Korea

Portugal have it all to do if they are to stand a chance of qualifying to the last 16 of the World Cup. With Brazil’s victory last night over Ivory Coast putting them through, Portugal cannot afford to drop points today.
For North Korea, they gave a great account of themselves against Brazil despite losing 2-1. As the lowest ranked team in the competition, North Korea will fancy their chances today.
The reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo in the first game showed for Portugal, as they played a goalless draw against the Ivory Coast. Their best chance came when the Real Madrid winger collected the ball, turned and from a long way out fired a shot against the post. Portugal had little to offer, with striker Liédson unable to get into the game. Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz has called on his team to get all three points. “The players know this and we all have the responsibility of knowing it is decisive for the final placings in our group. We are looking forward though with a great deal of ambition. We are only interested in winning,” said Quieroz.
The manager is not underestimating the North Koreans after their good showing against the highest-ranked team in the world, Brazil. “I want to register my respect for North Korea. They are lower in the rankings but that is just on paper. In the World Cup, there are never any easy games and sometimes there are surprises. The 32 best teams in the world are present here, all are competent, ambitious and determined to fly their flag high.”
The performance from Portugal against the Ivory Coast was not great, but today this is a game they are expected to win comfortably. However, midfielder Raul Meireles insists his country is only focused on getting the win. “We know the importance the game has for us. North Korea will play the same way [as against Brazil]. We've been watching a bit of the game. We know that they're very strong defensively, with 10 players behind the ball. We are prepared, we will work to overcome this wall and win,” said Meireles.
North Korea will take confidence from the way they performed in their opening match. The overwhelming emotions of playing in a World Cup got to Jong Tae-Se, who was reduced to tears during the national anthem. Playing against Brazil at a World Cup is one to remember for any player, but scoring against them, as Ji Yun-Nam did, was a momentous occasion.

Legendary North Korea player Pak Tu-Ik heaped praise on the national team. “They displayed tight co-ordination, high skills and good teamwork to stage a close match against Brazil. The score proves our team's strength. The world must have been shocked,” said Pak.
Pak was part of the North Korean team that lost to Portugal in the quarter-final in their only meeting in 1966. North Korea found themselves 3-0 up, but an inspired performance from Eusebio, saw Portugal win the game 5-3.
The way this World Cup has gone so far, you cannot predict anything. North Korea could upset the odds and get all three points against a Portugal team that lacks punch.




Question Stats

Latest activity: earlier.
This question has 0 answers.


Share your knowledge and help people by answering questions.