Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo ended his two-year wait for an international goal as his side ripped North Korea apart to secure their first win of this World Cup in style.
The two sides were only separated by Raul Meireles' goal at half-time, but Portugal produced a scintillating attacking display after the break to score six goals and spark their tournament into life, while ending North Korea's hopes of progressing.
Simao, Hugo Almeida and Tiago found the net in the space of seven minutes to end any hopes of a North Korean comeback, before Liedson, Ronaldo and a second from Tiago completed a similar quick-fire salvo at the end of the game.
This was a re-run of one of the most famous matches in World Cup history, 44 years on from the memorable day when North Korea led 3-0 before being overhauled by a four-goal Eusebio blast.
Despite a lively start by North Korea, Portugal did not have to mount any sort of comeback to win this time, but they will savour the victory just the same, especially as their much-improved goal difference makes them favourites to follow Brazil in qualifying from Group G.
With Brazil to play in their final group game, Carlos Queiroz's side badly needed all three points and, from the start, they came forward with far more intent than during their opening draw with Ivory Coast.
Ricardo Carvalho came closest to making an early breakthrough when Korean goalkeeper Ri Myong-Guk got nowhere near a corner and the Portugal defender headed against the frame of the unguarded goal.
But North Korea were also looking far more adventurous than they had in their first match and, while they were a lot less secure at the back, they gave Portugal a few scares at the other end too.
Cha Jong-Hyok saw his powerful shot swerve wide after a neat build-up, while Mun In-Guk headed the follow-up over after Eduardo parried Hong Yong-Jo's cross-shot from the right.
To their credit, Portugal kept their composure and although at this stage Ronaldo was only an occasional menace down the left flank rather than the unstoppable force he would later become, they continued to look the more dangerous side, especially on the break.
Their first goal, when it arrived after 29 minutes, was one of beauty - with Tiago slipping a precise through ball into the path of Meireles, who tucked a low shot past Ri Myong-Guk.
While North Korea did not crumble instantly, their defensive disorganisation meant they were lucky not to concede further goals before the break, only to completely collapse after it.
Simao opened the floodgates when he finished off a neat move between Meireles and Hugo Almeida, and Almeida quickly made it 3-0 when he headed home Fabio Coentrao's cross.
By now Ronaldo had woken up too, and he set up Tiago to slot home his first goal from the edge of the area before almost making number five with a perfectly weighted cross that Almeida could not quite convert.
The £80m Real Madrid winger seemed determined to get on the scoresheet himself and smashed a rasping shot against the bar before Liedson did make it 5-0 with a thumping finish after Ri Kwang-Chon's mistake.
Then came the moment most of the Portuguese fans in Cape Town had been waiting for, when Ronaldo capitalised on a defensive mistake, skipped past Ri Myong-Guk and, after bringing the ball down using his neck, turned it home.
Tiago's late header from Miguel Veloso's cross added a seventh goal and gave the final score an even more emphatic appearance, and one that reflected Portugal's total dominance.
Portugal will top the group by beating Brazil and even if they were to lose and Ivory Coast win it is likely Queiroz's side would go through, owing to a much better goal difference.
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
Projected table based on current scores
|Group A teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group B teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group C teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group D teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group E teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group F teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group G teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|