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Heavy loss to Portugal ignored by N.Korean media

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PRETORIA (Reuters) -- North Korea's 7-0 defeat by Portugal was ignored by the country's media despite one of the heaviest defeats at a World Cup having been shown live.

The official KCNA news agency and North Korean television had hailed the brave 2-1 defeat by Brazil in their Group G opener but Monday's mauling failed to get a mention.

The Chosun Sinbo, a Japan-based pro-Pyongyang publication with close ties to the North's leaders, reported that North Koreans watching the game were at a loss for words as their team crumbled before their eyes.

"Anticipation and excitement changed to frustration and disappointment," the report said. "They were left speechless by the opposition's great skills."

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The defeat, which left North Korea with no chance of qualifying for the second round, could have serious implications for soccer in the country as the regime will view the result as a major embarrassment.

After losing 3-0 to South Korea in their final qualifier for the 1994 World Cup, North Korea chose not to enter the 1998 and 2002 tournaments. It only returned to Asian qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.