Friday, June 25, 2010

Portugal advance with Brazil after 0-0 draw

A dull game, it was to be expected because Portugal were practically through along with Brazil. Ivory Coast on the other hand played to have fun, the chains off and the Ivory Coast really showed their attacking prowess.

June 25, 2010 - Durban, South Africa - epa02222123 Brazil's Nilmar (L) attempts to score against goalkeeper Eduardo of Portugal during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group G preliminary round match between Portugal and Brazil at the Durban stadium in Durban, South Africa, 25 June 2010.
Nilmar's shot saved and onto the crossbar
Portugal - Brazil

It was a tight first half, Nilmar had a good chance after breaking through on the left, redirecting a shot on goal only to see Eduardo tip it just enough so that it bounced off the upright. It was one of the few opportunities in a half littered with fouls, dives, and yellow cards. Then in the 39th Maicon's cross to unmarked Luis Fabiano at the back post who somehow missed the header.

The second half was also forgettable, the biggest chance came thanks to Lucio clearing the ball across his own box for Mereiles to jump onto and have his shot saved by a brave Julio Cesar. Brazil also had a chance with Ramires having shot deflected which slightly troubled Eduardo, but the Portuguese kept the score at 0-0. Dull match, hope to see better from both teams throughout the tournament.

June 25, 2010 - South Africa - Football - North Korea v Ivory Coast FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group G - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, South Africa - 25/6/10..Yaya Toure (L) scores Ivory Coast's first goal.
Yaya Toure's shot which ends up in the back of the net
Korea DPR - Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast finally dominated a game, their first match against Portugal they were cagey and afraid, and in the second against Brazil was just impossible. The Ivory Coast showed why many consider them the best African nation in this tournament, plenty of possession and shots on target as they crushed DPR Korea 3-0.

The first half started well, Drogba getting a goal disallowed for offside, and after that they found the opener with Yaya Toure in the 14th. A pinpoint cutback from Boka on the left which Yaya Toure passed into the bottom left corner. Six minutes later Drogba thundered a shot onto the crossbar from point-blank range to then have Romaric follow up with a header giving the Ivory Coast goal number two.

The third goal came late into the second half, Kalou was brought on as a substitute in the 64th, and then in the 82nd the Chelsea winger got the final goal. A cross which Kalou anticipated perfectly to tuck away, then the Ivory Coast had another disallowed goal from Dindane who finished off a cross which was just tipped by a teammate when he was in an offside position. A good score-line for a team people certainly would've wanted to see more of.

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