Portugal hit their stride at the World Cup on Monday, thrashing North Korea 7-0 to give themselves an excellent chance of reaching the last 16 while ending the Asian team's hopes.

Portugal took the lead through Raul Meireles in the 29th minute and went on the rampage in the second half with three goals in a seven-minute spree from Simao Sabrosa (53rd), Hugo Almeida (56th) and Tiago (60th).

The score was completed with late strikes from Liedson (81st) and Cristiano Ronaldo in the 87th, his first for Portugal in two years, and Tiago again in the 89th.

Portugal scored five in their remarkable 1966 World Cup quarter-final with North Korea when they came from 3-0 down to win 5-3.

Brazil, already sure of a second round place, lead Group G with six points from Portugal, who have four. Ivory Coast have one and North Korea none with one match each left to play.

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