World Cup pre-game: Portugal vs. North Korea

Forty-four years after their previous battle at the World Cup, Portugal and North Korea will square off again Monday in South Africa in Group G play (CBC,, 7am ET).

Day 11, Match 1

Portugal vs. North Korea, Group G

Date and Location

June 21, Green Point Stadium, Cape Town

Broadcast details

Live on CBC and (7 a.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.


Rogers pre-game show

Watch the Rogers pre-game show 30 minutes before kickoff as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.

What's at stake

North Korea proved against Brazil (in a 2-1 loss) that it won't be easily broken down, which will make things difficult for a Portugal side that settled for a 1-1 draw against Ivory Coast.

With their most difficult match (against Brazil) still to come, the Portuguese need three points here to stay on track for qualification, while the North Koreans need a win to get back into the race.

Suspension watch

Cristiano Ronaldo earned a yellow card in Portugal's previous match. If he receives another against North Korea, he will be suspended for his country's final game of the group stage.

No players for North Korea have been cautioned at this tournament.

Player to watch for: Portugal

Ricardo Carvalho — The Ivory Coast found out first-hand how hard life can be moving forward while facing this extremely tough and savvy centre back. The 32-year-old Chelsea mainstay has turned the last-ditch miracle tackle into an art form.

Player to watch for: North Korea

Hong Yong-Jo — Sitting right behind Jong Tae-Sae in attack, Hong Yong-Jo provides a great second attacking option for the North Koreans because he isn't afraid to test the opposing keeper from any range.

Key matchup

Cristiano Ronaldo vs. The Great Korean Defensive Wall — North Korea's defence by committee confounded Brazil for nearly an hour before Maicon's miracle strike. Can one of the best dribblers in the world find his way through? Qualification for Portugal may depend on it.

Portuguese perspective

"In an opening game, you take fewer risks. You don't throw everything into attack. The second game will be much more straightforward: we have to make things happen ... we have to win to give ourselves a chance of progressing." — Coach Carlos Queiroz

North Korean perspective

"We could have got the three points [against Brazil] and the win and it will be very different to our next game against Portugal. We must beat Portugal to stay alive in the World Cup." — Forward Jong Tae-Se

World Cup head-to-head

  • Games played:  1
  • Portugal: 1 win, 0 losses, 0 draws
  • North Korea: 0 wins, 1 loss, 0 draws
  • Goals: Portugal 5, North Korea 3
  • Last match: These two have only played one match against each other, but what a match it turned out to be. In one of the most memorable World Cup encounters in history, North Korea, which had already rocked Italy 1-0 earlier in the 1966 tournament hosted by England, went shockingly up 3-0 over Portugal after 22 minutes in the quarter-finals. But the great Eusebio rescued his side, scoring four goals as Portugal rallied for a 5-3 triumph.