Monday, June 28, 2010

Group G final group games

Brazil 0-0 Portugal

When you see a Brazil v Portugal game on the fixture list it's enough to make one salivate in anticipation. However with Brazil only needing a draw to qualify top and Portugal only needing a draw to make absolutely certain of qualification it quickly became apparent that this would be a damp squib of a game. And so it turned out to be...for ninety minutes. I had thought that with both sides having pretty much progressed this would be an open fun game to match the festive atmosphere that accompanied it. I was wrong. I was also wrong that I didn't think the tackles would be flying in quite so hard. They were and as a result there were a few bookings.

As expected both sides had also made a few changes to their starting line-up and it was in these fringe players best interests to put on a show to force themselves into the managers plans for the round of 16. But even they couldn't really liven up proceedings. Juan could have been given a red card for a deliberate hand ball but the referee took a lenient approach.

The best chances were when a close-range Nilmar shot was parried onto the post by Eduardo and when the ball broke loose for Meireles in the box but was unable to convert.

Ivory Coast 3-0 North Korea

The Ivory Coast new that they needed a massive victory coupled with a Brazil win to have any chance of qualifying for the next stage.

The Ivory Coast could not match the 7-0 Portugal mustered against North Korea but they did create chances and were well worth their 3-0 victory. At least Ivory Coast could go out and enjoy themselves in a game, knowing these were their last minutes at World Cup 2010 they might as well!

The Ivory Coast were particularly dominant in the first half as Yaya Toure and Romaric both scored good goals. Despite their dominance and chances they were unable to produce more. They were unable to create as much during the second half and only a Kalou effort added to the two goals for a simple 3-0 victory that signalled the end of both sides involvement in the tournament.

It was a disheartening tournament for The Elephants and they will rue their conservatism in the first game against Portugal.

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