YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Portugal Tears Poles Apart, 4-0


Rebounding from an upset loss to the United States, Portugal took out its frustration on Poland in no uncertain terms Monday night as it thrashed the Poles, 4-0, in front of 31,000 rain-drenched fans in Jeonju, South Korea.

No one enjoyed the evening more than Pauleta, who scored the second hat trick of the Korea/Japan '02 World Cup with goals in the 14th, 65th and 77th minutes. Two came from his right foot and one from his left.

That matched the treble achieved by Germany's Miroslav Klose in an 8-0 rout of Saudi Arabia earlier in the tournament.

Rui Costa added the fourth for Portugal, which gained three points and moved into third place in Group D behind South Korea and the U.S., which each have four. Each team has one game left to play in the first round.

"It was a good win today," said Portugal Coach Antonio Oliveira, who was celebrating his 50th birthday. "The players gave their all for their country.

"I'm very pleased. We used a different strategy against Poland than the one we did against the United States and it paid off. The most important thing was that all the players contributed."

Pauleta was the leading goal scorer in the French first division with 22 goals and his success Monday justified Oliveira's faith in the Bordeaux striker despite Pauleta not having always lived up to expectations with the national team.

Poland, with consecutive losses and no goals scored, was eliminated from advancing further in the tournament. It closes its campaign against the U.S. on Thursday in Daejeon, South Korea.

"As time went on, our morale went down," said despondent Coach Jerzy Engel. "We had many defensive mistakes."

Los Angeles Times Articles