Tuesday, June 15, 2010
It was meant to be a mouthwatering tie in a potentially explosive Group G. Drogba's Ivory Coast against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal. What took place was a match which did not live up to the hype it created. Both team employed a cat-and-mouse approach and while Portugal had much of the possession, they lacked a sharp edge in attack. Ivory Coast was intent to soak up the pressure and then hit with pace on the break with Gervinho, Eboue, Kalou and Dindane all extremely quick and dangerous.
The match was filled with niggly fouls and players falling over at the slightest touch. In truth, the stop-start manner did kill some of the fluency of the game. Ronaldo ended up on the floor every time he tried to go on a potentially explosive run. Sven Goran Eriksson clearly recollecting the dangers of Ronaldo from England's 2006 quarterfinal World Cup match and decided that Cristiano must be stopped at all cost. This tactic worked as Ronaldo is still searching for his first goal in more than two years.
It could have been oh so different if a trademark Ronaldo 30-yard screamer had nestled in the net rather than bounce off the post. Drogba's 85th minute introduction into the game was greeted with huge applause. Unfortunately, the English Premier League top goalscorer could not connect cleanly with Kader Keita's pass and skewed his attempted shot wide of the Portuguese goal.
In the end, a point keeps both team with hope of progress from a tough group. It doesn't make for interesting viewing though. I hope Brazil later tonight will treat us to a samba goal fest, I think we all need some Brazilian magic to get past the lack of goals in the World Cup so far.
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