Ivory Coast draw 0-0 with Portugal

Ivory Coast and Portugal played out a scoreless draw in their Group G match of the 2010 World Cup at Port Elizabeth Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

A crowd of 37,034 were treated to a brilliant long range Cristiano Ronaldo cracker early in the first half that hit the post in the best chance of the match.

Played in driving rain in the second half, both sides appeared happy with a draw and for a match that had the build of a potential goal scoring feast, it was a bit of a let down as neither side scaled any great heights.

First Half
Cristiano Ronaldo had an early the free kick after 8 minutes that was blocked and not long after a cracking Ronaldo shot from outside the box looked almost certain to go in before it hit the post in the best chance of the match.

In a game that promised much excitement, most of the first half was played out between the defences with goal mouth action few and far between.

Tiote attempted to run onto a ball in the penalty box but Portugal keeper Eduardo was aware to the danger and cut out the forward thrust.

Half time score was 0-0 and only Christiano Ronaldo had a shot on target and that was about all the highest paid player in the world managed in the first 45 minutes.

First half rating (Out of 5): Ivory Coast 3 – Portugal 3

Second Half
The Ivory Coast came out with more intent in the second half and they had most of the play for the first 30 minutes but failed to put and real goal mouth pressure on the Portuguese.

A number of half chances to the Africans were continually thwarted by a more than capable Portugal defence.

Ronaldo was reduced to a bit player by the close checking Ivory Coast defenders and unless the ball was out in the open where Ronaldo would not have to physically compete, he did not want to know about it.

A free kick for Portugal late in the half gave Ronaldo an opportunity to win the game but even he couldn’t stop the ball from rising up and over the bar as most free kicks have done this tournament.

In a lacklustre game the final score was a Nil-all draw.

Second Half rating (Out of 5): Ivory Coast 3.5 – Portugal 3.0

Final Score

Ivory Coast 0 – 0 Portugal

7m Didier Zokora (IC)
21m Cristiano Ronaldo (Por)
21m Guy Demel (IC)

Ivory Coast Starting 11
Boubacar Barry, Guy Demel, Kolo Toure, Didier Zokora, Siaka Tiené, Cheik Tiote, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Gervinho, Aruna Dindane, Salomon Kalou

Substitutes
66m Didier Drogba for Salomon Kalou
82m Abdulkader Keita for Gervinho
89m Romaric for Emmanuel Eboué

Portugal Starting 11
Eduardo, Paulo Ferreira, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao, Deco, Pedro Mendes, Raul Meireles, Cristiano Ronaldo, Liedson, Danny

Substitutes
55m Simao for Danny
62m Tiago for Deco
85m Ruben Amorim for Raul Meireles

Team Game Rating (out of 10): Ivory Coast 6.5 Portugal 6

Match Thoughts

Neither side could break down the other side’s defence and Ivory Coast were the team that looked the more likely but they lacked the finishing skills to get the job done.

For two sides touted as chances to make their presence felt, they weren’t that impressive for ours.

Down back they were both excellent but up against stronger sides they will struggle to score on what they showed in this game.

Ivory Coast

Positives: Very solid in defence which is a good foundation to have and they have physical presence.
Area to Improve: Had plenty of the ball through the middle but need to threaten the goal more when in control of the ball.
Where to now: Face Brazil and can test the South Americans somewhat defensively, but scoring goals could be a problem.

Portugal

Positives: Defensively they were superb and continually thwarted the Africans forays forward.
Area to Improve: Need to get into the contest when it’s physical and not get pushed off the ball so easily.
Where to now: Tackle North Korea and will be expecting a win before taking on Brazil who may have already qualified by then and could be a good time to play them.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup

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