25 June 2010

IVORY COAST 3 (Yaya Toure 14, Romaric 20, Kalou 82)

The cheat Keita was involved in the build-up that gave the CIV an early lead - as usual FIFA failed on their promise to combat simulation and gamesmanship. Romaric sprayed Keita's pass out wide to Boka and Toure took a touch before placing the ball inside the right post. Great finish. With his back to play Drogba pulled down a Boka cross, turned and hammered a shot against the underside of the crossbar, which made a gratifying snapping sound, and Romaric headed in the rebound. Kalou leapt in the air to volley home another fantastic delivery from midget Boka.

Attendance : 34,763
Assists : Boka, n/a, Boka


Juan should have been red carded for a deliberate handball that prevented Ronaldo from a one vs one against Julio Cesar. Instead the Mexican referee, Archundia, bottled it and to make matters worse booked Duda for his protests. Of course ITV didn't both to show this incident in their highlights. Four Portuguese players swarmed on Luis Fabiano on the edge of the box, he swung in a hit and hope cross, Nilmar wasn't picked up and his left foot shot was superbly saved by Eduardo, who tipped the ball against the crossbar. Portugal broke from that attack, Tiago forced a mistake from his Juventus team-mate Felipe Melo, ran from the half way line, played a one-two with Danny then dived under minimal contact from Gilberto Silva to earn a yellow card. Luis Fabiano headed a Maicon cross into the ground from 12 yards, dreadful miss.

Ronaldo carried the ball 50 yards on the counter, forced a mistake from the normally imperious Lucio but Julio 'Hail' Cesar denied Meireles with an unbelievable save. Eduardo clawed away Josue's deflected shot to preserve a point for the Portuguese.

Attendance : 62,712
Assists : n/a

21 June 2010

PORTUGAL 7 (Meireles 29, Simao 53, Almeida 56, Tiago 60, Liedson 81, Ronaldo 87, Tiago 89)

Two early chances fell to Carvalho while Korea also went close, Eduardo flew across his goal to tip away Yong-Jo's shot and Nam-Chol headed the rebound over the bar in this surprisingly open contest played in a monsoon. Tiago poked a ball through the Korean defence Meireles ran between them to finish with a crisp first time strike. Fittingly on the first day of Wimbledon Portugal beat North Korea 6-0 in the second half. Meireles chested down a Miguel cross, Almeida returned the ball to him with a nonchalant back heel, Meireles played in Simao on the overlap and he nutmegged the 'keeper. Great goal. Almeida finished off a rapid counter attack with a well placed header. Meireles dispossessed a Korean on the left and passed to Almeida, he poked the ball through to Ronaldo who waited for support before pulling back to Tiago who finished with another first time strike. Liedson scored within three minutes of replacing Almeida, punishing an awful clearance with a rasping left foot volley. On 87 minutes Ronaldo scored the goal all of Portugal had been waiting for. Liedson tackled a defender, Ronaldo ran through and flicked the all over the 'keeper as he dived in with an instance two footed tackle, the ball bounced off the 'keeper as Ronaldo tried desperately to keep his balance, it bounced off his back, up off his head and as he got upright it was staring him in the face and he tapped into an empty net. Incredibly his first international goal (excluding friendlies) for almost two years. Tiago's flick header ended a miserably afternoon for the Koreans.

This Tiago looks some player. I wonder if a big club like Chelsea or Juve will make a bid? On a serious note Raul Meireles really caught the eye. One wonders what ramifications await the Koreans when they return home, not that we'll find out.

Attendance : 63,644
Assists : Tiago, Almeida, Coentrao, Ronaldo, n/a, n/a, Veloso

20 June 2010

BRAZIL 3 (Luis Fabiano 25, Luis Fabiano 50, Elano 62)
IVORY COAST 1 (Drogba 79)

After an uneventful 25 minutes Brazil scored a marvellous, ten pass goal. Luis Fabiano backheeled a Robinho pass into Kaka', Kaka' ran through a sliding tackle, threaded a pass between two defenders to Luis Fabiano, he skipped over Kolo Toure's suicidal red card tackle then from an acute angle on the left belted the ball into the roof of the net.

Luis Fabiano used his arm to bring down a long ball, he flicked it over the head of another defender, flicked it over Toure, used his arm again then blasted past Barry. Would have been a wondrous goal but for the cheating. Kaka' nutmegged a Maicon centre, Robinho gave him the ball but he shot straight at Barry. Should have scored. The Brazilians only had to wait another minute for their third and it was a fantastic goal, which started in midfield and 12 passes later ended with Kaka' destroying Toure on the left before pulling back a centre to Elano. The Ivorian's reacted by trying to take out as many Brazilians as possible. Elano slid in to win a ball and Tiote followed through with a stamp on his right shin. He was stretchered off though I'm surprised the shin pads didn't prevent him from injury. Keita was booked for trying to shatter Bastos' right ankle. Gervinho helped make the consolation goal with a fantastic break from a Brazil corner, he ran 80 yards before Juan tackled him in the box just as he was about to pull the trigger, the tackle forced him wide, he passed to Yaya Toure and Drogba headed in his second World Cup goal. Kaka' got two yellows in quick succession. His first for pushing Keita after Bastos had been fouled. From the restart Tiote chopped down Luis Fabiano then when play resumed Robinho was instantly fouled. Seconds later Keita ran at Kaka', Kaka' raised his elbow to his chest and Keita went down clutching his face. Both benches cleared, the ref didn't see a thing and apparently his assistant told him Kaka' fouled Keita. The French referee, Stephane Lannoy, who lost control after the third goal, showed Kaka' a second yellow then a red. His first ever dismissal.

The Ivorian's are a bunch of dirty, cheating bastards. They pulled these stunts in their first game against Portugal. The Brazilian's are no saints of course, Lucio feigned injury to hold up play for several minutes in the first half and also appeared to take a shot at Drogba's injured elbow but that doesn't excuse a succession of heavy fouls or Keita's playacting. The one good point Alan Shearer made post match, and after the Vuvuzela he's the most irritating sound at this World Cup, was saying if FIFA want to send out a message about playacting they should hit Keita hard, or words to that effect. Rivaldo was banned for a similar piece of acting against the Turks. Kaka' is unlikely to get his ban rescinded. It's a shame Brazil play their last game before Chile vs Spain - Dunga could throw the last game and make sure he avoids the Spanish in the last 16. They'll need Kaka' and Elano for that match.

Attendance : 84,455
Red Card : Kaka' 88 (Brazil)
Assists : Kaka', n/a, Kaka', Yaya Toure

15 June 2010

BRAZIL 2 (Maicon 55, Elano 72)

Melo collected a throw-in and swung the ball over to Elano, he released Maicon on the overlap and he gave the ball an almighty whack, his first time shot beat Ri at his near post and flew into the other corner. Most people will be convinced Maicon was attempting a cross but given it's Maicon and the goals he has scored this season I think he meant it. Luis Fabiano should have made it 2-0. Having controlled a Robinho cross on his chest and stepped past a defender he blasted into the stands, shocking attempt. Two former Manchester City players combined for the second. Robinho had possession about 35 yards from goal and was looking for a runner, Elano obliged, Robinho played him in with a DELICIOUS pass and he gently stroked the ball into the bottom left corner. Juan denied Jong with a brilliant sliding tackle as he was about to put away a great crossfield pass. Three minutes later the Koreans scored a brilliant consolation goal. Jong headed back a longball, Ji beat Gilberto for pace and with a fantastic first touch, took the ball away from Gilberto Silva and Lucio with his right then slammed a left foot shot past Julio Cesar. A fitting end to a very good second half after an absolutely dreadful first.

Attendance : 54,331
Assists : Kaka', Robinho, Jong


In between the diving, playacting, yellow cards and violence Ronaldo hit the woodwork with a stunning 35 yard drive. Second half substitutes Drogba and Keita combined for the games best chance but Drogba blew it with an awful shot across goal when it seemed easier to score.

I guess we shouldn't be too surprised this with SGE and Queiroz in charge. SGE will try to play for a draw against Brazil and on the evidence of tonight the Korean's will give Portugal a very hard time.

Attendance : 37,034
Assists : n/a