BBC Sport world-cup-2010

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal

By Chris Bevan
  1. Commentary Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz on Cristiano Ronaldo (and the rest of his team)  

    "He is good, he is looking forward to it - and I feel not only him, but all the players are wanting to play their best football yet. Cristiano is the captain of the team and a big icon nationally and internationally, and he is ready. They are all ready. It's time to play and show what we are capable of."
     

  2. 14:45 Commentary  

    Afternoon all. I'm Chris Bevan - yep, the one who's written Italy off already (even though I didn't). I'm still in Cape Town and I'm going to take you through Ivory Coast versus Portugal. For the sake of this World Cup, we need Cristiano Ronaldo to be at his best - and we're about to find out what sort of form the Real Madrid star is in.

  3. Commentary Ivory Coast v Portugal line-ups  

    Ivory Coast: 1-Boubacar Barry; 21-Emmanuel Eboue, 4-Kolo Toure, 20-Guy Demel, 17-Siaka Tiene; 10-Gervais Kouassi, 5-Didier Zokora, 19-Yaya Toure, 9-Cheik Tiote, 8-Salomon Kalou, 15-Aruna Dindane.
    Portugal: 1-Eduardo; 3-Paulo Ferreira, 2-Bruno Alves, 6-Ricardo Carvalho, 23-Fabio Coentrao; 8-Pedro Mendes 16-Raul Meireles, 20-Deco, 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 10-Danny, 9-Liedson.
    Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)

  4. Commentary Ivory Coast v Portugal team news  

    The big news for Ivory Coast is that coach Sven-Goran Eriksson leaves captain Didier Drogba, who broke his arm on 4 June, out of his starting line-up and Gervais Kouassi joins Aruna Dindane and Salomon Kalou in a three-pronged attack.
    Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz picks Danny on the wing in preference to Simao Sabrosa, who has been struggling for fitness, and another injury doubt - defensive midfielder Pepe - also starts on the bench.

  5. 14:53 Commentary  

    Right, I've got a good feeling that this one is going to be lively but I need some chat from you lot too, just in case it's not. Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @chrisbevan_bbc or you can always get involved on 606.

  6. Commentary Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson on BBC Radio 5 live  

    "I'm looking forward to the match. We're facing Portugal so we have to play very well to get three points. We are prepared, confident and optimistic. The fact that Drogba is available is a boost for everyone."

  7. 14:57 Commentary  

    Didier Drogba (in the dug-out) applauds the Ivory Coast's national anthem - his arm must be fine then. We are just moments away from kick-off at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.

  8. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium  

    via Twitter: "Out they come, off they go (vuvuzelas, swarming around the place) and I am hoping desperately for an early goal to spark things off."

  9. 15:00 KICK-OFF Ivory Coast v Portugal  

    Portugal get the first ever meeting of these two sides under way.

  10. 3 mins Commentary  

    Cristiano Ronaldo has had a couple of decent early touches but we've not seen anything to shout about from either side yet. As cagey as you might have expected.

  11. SMS  

    From Kev in Belfast: "I think this World Cup will come alive during this match. Portugal could surprise alot of people."

    I hope Kev's right on the first point, at least.

  12. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "The way the Ivory Coast are set up, starting without Drogba, I think they'd be happy with a draw."

  13. 7 mins YELLOW CARD  

    We might see this happen a few times today... Cristiano Ronaldo skips past Didier Zokora, who catches him late and sends him flying - and gets the first yellow card of the game for his troubles. Ronaldo steps up to take the free-kick from 40 yards out... and smashes it straight into the wall.

  14. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium  

    "Unfortunately there are plenty of empty seats here for what is surely one of the more attractive group games. I reckon that an early goal would do wonders for the entertainment on show."

  15. 10 mins HITS THE WOODWORK  

    Er, wow. Cristiano Ronaldo has just come within inches of scoring the best goal of this World Cup so far. He picks the ball up 25 yards out and unleashes a dipping shot that swerves on to the post. Boubacar Barry was well beaten.

  16. 14 mins Commentary  

    Siaka Tiene has just had Ivory Coast's first effort on goal too, from a free-kick. He curls it over the wall and it is only inches wide... but Eduardo had it covered in any case.

  17. 17 mins Commentary  

    On this evidence the Ivory Coast aren't afraid to try their luck from distance. Cheik Tiote has a pop this time, with a curling shot from the edge of the area - but it flies over the top of Eduardo's crossbar.

  18. 21 mins HANDBAGS  

    Cristiano Ronaldo goes to ground as he sprints towards the area - it looked to me like he was clearly sent tumbling by Guy Demel. But referee Jorge Larrionda thinks otherwise and waves play on. Demel then accuses Ronaldo of diving (or words to that effect) and Larrionda belatedly gets involved to book the pair of them. Not sure the ref got that one right.

  19. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium  

    "There is no doubt it, even though I can hardly see any Ivory Coast fans, the vuvuzela level gets appreciably louder the closer the Elephants are to the Portugal goal. I've been pretty impressed with the desire to attack from both sides."

  20. Twitter  

    From AndyBishopFooty: "No goals for Portugal in 15 months for Ronaldo... sounds like Shearer pre Euro 96 to me. We all know what happened there!"

  21. 28 mins Commentary  

    It's all gone a bit stop-start of late, not helped by Emmanuel Eboue needing lengthy treatment after being caught by Pedro Mendes. No card this time though.

  22. 31 mins Commentary  

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Deco link up to release Liedson down the right. This looks promising but the ball into the middle is disappointing. Portugal are going to have to do better than that.

  23. 35 mins Commentary  

    Yep, for all their possession, Portugal are still unable to find a decent final ball. Raul Meireles tries to slip Liedson clear but gets too much on his pass and the ball runs through to Boubacar Barry.

  24. SMS  

    Sola in Lagos, Nigeria: "I sincerely want an Ivory Coast victory. It’s time African teams started beating these so called 'big' teams."

  25. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "When Ivory Coast get the ball all the Portugal players stay in their own half and the same happens when Portugal get the ball."

  26. 41 mins Commentary  

    Deco gives away the ball and Ivory Coast break forward. A chance? Er, no. Salomon Kalou bursts into the box and cuts inside to shoot... but is crowded out by the Portuguese defence. That's been the story of this game so far, I'm afraid. And the only moment to savour was when Cristiano Ronaldo smashed that cracking shot against the post.

  27. 43 mins Commentary  

    Not long to go until half-time. Am I alone in hoping Sven sticks on Didier Drogba at the break? Nope, thought not.

  28. 606  

    From 50in50: "Seems like Portugal are just trying to hit Ivory Coast on the break at the moment, which is odd seeing as they're so skillful."

  29. HALF-TIME Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal  

    If you thought this would be the game where the World Cup comes alive, you were wrong... so far anyway.

  30. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium  

    "To be fair to the Ivory Coast fans who are here, they have been making a very soothing, rhythmic sound for the entire first half. It is a shame they haven't had all that much to cheer, but then again Portugal's fans hardly look too thrilled - and the arrival of the Mexican wave shortly before the half-time whistle rather says it all."

  31. SMS  

    Dan in Portsmouth: "The second round of matches will definitely be more lively, it's just that no-one wants to lose their opening game."

  32. Twitter  

    From randalthor1812: "Do these 2 teams realise that if they draw this game then they'll need some sort of result against Brazil?"

  33. 15:59 Commentary  

    I think we can all agree that this game needs a goal. And the earlier it gets it in the second half, the better. Didier Drogba can't score from the bench, Sven - bring him on (or let him out - whatever you prefer). As for Cristiano Ronaldo, he needs to cut out the cheeky back-heels and try to get himself within shooting range - with this World Cup ball, he should be deadly.

  34. 16:01 Commentary  

    The teams have emerged for the second half. No sign of Drogba, yet, as the Ivory Coast get the second half started.

  35. 47 mins Commentary  

    This is more like it. Gervais Kouassi twists and turns Ricardo Carvalho to give himself a sight of goal, albeit from a tight angle. He gets his shot in too, and it flashes across the face of goal with Eduardo getting a hand to it to help it on its way.

  36. 49 mins Commentary  

    Well, Didier Drogba is warming up but the Ivory Coast are doing OK without him at the moment. Gervais Kouassi puts across another dangerous ball but it is just too strong for Salomon Kalou.

  37. 52 mins Commentary  

    A decent spell of pressure by the Ivory Coast ends when Salomon Kalou fires in a powerful shot that flies straight at Eduardo. Portugal have fired a couple of useful balls into the African side's area aince the break but they need to up their game here.

  38. 55 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    We are all waiting on Didier Drogba's introduction but it is Portugal who make the first change. Simao Sabrosa comes on for Danny - expect him to run at his man, hopefully with more success than Danny.

  39. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "If I was one of the Ivorian fans in the stadium or watching at home I'd be going mad at coach Sven-Goran Eriksson with regards to bringing Drogba on."

  40. 59 mins Commentary  

    Portugal's turn to attack, and they force Boubacar Barry into a save - but he's not exactly tested by Liedson's looping header. At the other end, Gervais Kouassi (who some of you may know as Gervinho - that's what he has on his shirt) cuts into the area and has his shot deflected over at the near post. I'm enjoying this game now.

  41. 606  

    From darkanddom: "This game has come alive. Very exciting!!!!!!!!! Cote D'Ivoire to win this game! Hoping anyway."

  42. 62 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Another change by Carlos Queiroz. Tiago is on for Deco.

  43. 64 mins IT'S RAINING  

    It's chucking it down at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium. One thing I've noticed about the weather here in South Africa is that it is very, very changable.

  44. 64 mins Commentary  

    Here he comes... Didier Drogba is about to make his entrance. Any second now...

  45. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium  

    "Deco's off - and straight off down the tunnel. Much better from the Ivory Coast. Not sure Portugal look like the third best team in the world."

  46. 65 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Yep, 11 days after breaking his arm, Didier Drogba comes on for the Ivory Coast - replacing Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou. The roar from the Ivorians in the crowd tells you how much they have been looking forward to this moment. Let's see how much of an impact he can have on the game.

  47. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg  

    "The roads outside Ellis Park are gridlocked and the media centre is packed to bursting. There's yellow as far as the eye can see, which means the Brazilians are in town. If their team are as confident as their pressman seem to be, we're in for a goal-filled evening."

  48. 71 mins Commentary  

    Hmmm. Didier Drogba has not had much chance to shine since coming on but Portugal are hardly piling on the pressure either. They have had a couple of corners, though, and a quickly taken short one by Simao Sabrosa almost came off. A moment of inspiration, if it arrives, will probably settle this match.

  49. Twitter  

    From BishBoshFooty: "I'm expecting a scissor-kick from Drogba like the one from a sling-wearing Pele in 'Escape to Victory'."

    In slow-motion too, I expect? Personally, I'm always disappointed when Sly Stallone fails to make the United States' World Cup squad as a reserve goalkeeper.

  50. 78 mins Commentary  

    Ivory Coast captain Kolo Toure is off the pitch and having treatment - with cramp I think. Meanwhile, play continues and Raul Meireles drills in a decent effort from the edge of the box for Portugal. A pity that it was just off target really.

  51. 79 mins Commentary  

    Cristiano Ronaldo wins a free-kick 30 yards out. You know what he's going to do, don't you?

  52. 79 mins Commentary  

    Yep Ronaldo has a pop, for a change... and he almost gets this one right. His shot dips after flying past the wall but not enough to trouble Boubacar Barry's goal - it was a couple of yards over the bar.

  53. 81 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    At the other end, Kolo Toure (who has recovered from that cramp) gets on the end of a ball hoisted to the far post but is under pressure and cannot direct his header on goal. The Ivory Coast make another change - Gervais Kouassi (Gervinho), who has been one of their better players, is off and Kader Keita is on.

  54. 86 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Carlos Queiroz makes his third and final substitution. Benfica midfielder Ruben Amorim is on for Raul Meireles. We're running out of time to find a winner of this one though.

  55. 89 mins Commentary  

    Emmanuel Eboue is coming off for the Ivory Coast, to be replaced by Ndri Romaric. Back with the action, Ruben Amorim tries his luck from 25 yards, seconds after coming on, but the ball fizzes high over the bar.

  56. 91 mins Commentary  

    Didier Drogba hasn't had a sniff of a goal since coming on but he should really have won the game for the Ivory Coast just now. Abdelkader Keita slides him clear but, under pressure, the striker screws his shot across the face of goal. A waste.

  57. 93 mins INJURY TIME  

    We're in the final minute of injury time, and the Ivory Coast are going for it. Abdelkader Keita is at the centre of things again, playing a dangerous ball into the box, but Portugal clear for a corner.

  58. FULL-TIME Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal  

    Er, Instead of slamming the corner into the mixer, the Ivory Coast take a short one and play for time. The whistle follows about five seconds later - strikes me as over-cautious but they must want that point very badly.

  59. 16:53 Commentary  

    Well, it wasn't a shocker but I thought we were going to get much more than we did today - especially when Cristiano Ronaldo had that early effort. Still, good to see Didier Drogba at the World Cup - even if he did make a hash of that late chance.

  60. 606  

    From onithor: "Drogba had the best chance to put the game past Portugal. Be that as it may, Ivory Coast were imperious in comparison to all African sides thus far. I guess second place in Group G goes to who ever doesn't get crushed by Brazil too badly."

  61. 17:00 Commentary  

    Hmmm. I'm just looking at that last-gasp Didier Drogba chance again and I'm still not sure what he was trying to do. It's more of a cross than a shot, although in the TV pictures I'm watching, he hasn't got a team-mate within 20 yards of him. If he wasn't going for goal, he surely should have done.

  62. 17:02 Commentary  

    Right then. I'm not sure what your thoughts are about this World Cup so far... mixed at best, I expect - unless you are German. But rest assured it is about to get a lot better - Brazil are up next (at 19:30 BST). Come on, admit it - you are at least a teeny bit excited about that.

  63. Commentary Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson  

    "It was a good game, tactically, from both teams. No-one wants to lose a game like this. They had a good chance when Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post, but we had good chances and half-chances."

  64. SMS  

    From anon: "Ivory coast played a better game at the end . If they had taken it with that last chance it would have been well deserved."

  65. 606  

    From CornPopper17: "I don't understand why Ivory Coast were happy to take a short corner as the last kick of the game, why didn't they just put the ball in the box? Did they really think that Portugal could hit them on the break and score in less than 10 seconds?"

  66. 17:23 Commentary  

    Brazil v North Korea kicks off in just over two hours time - join Pranav Soneji for the build-up from 17:30 and I'll be back in the chair for the kick-off. I can't wait - thanks for your banter so far today and I look forward to seeing you for more then.

By Paul Fletcher, Port Elizabeth

Ivory Coast and Portugal contested a goalless draw in a cagey opening game to the World Cup's so-called group of death at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

With Brazil also in Group G, it was obvious that both sides were desperate to avoid defeat and there was an extent to which both teams cancelled each other out.

It was the first competitive fixture of Sven-Goran Eriksson's short spell in charge of the Elephants and he can be pleased with the unity and discipline his side showed, particularly with talismanic striker Didier Drogba missing from the starting line-up.

The Chelsea striker, who broke his arm on 4 June, came on after the break to huge cheers from the far-from-capacity Port Elizabeth crowd, but he had limited chance to make an impact on the game.

Ivory Coast were courageous in defence - Didier Zokora, for example, receiving a kick in his arm after bravely heading a cross that Liedson tried to volley - and showed an organisation and discipline in their play that suggested talk of fractures in their squad are wide of the mark.

Portugal, third in the Fifa rankings but who only made it to South Africa after a play-off victory over Bosnia-Hercegovina, should perhaps have tried to capitalise on Drogba's absence.

They did come closest to scoring when Cristiano Ronaldo struck a post, but there was little to suggest an upsurge from their patchy form during qualifying.

It was a match that desperately needed an early goal to force one team to abandon the tactical caginess that has been a feature of the opening round of fixtures.

It almost arrived when Ronaldo's 25-yard strike after 10 minutes swerved and dipped, easily defeating Boubacar Barry but finding the woodwork an altogether more difficult opponent.

It would have been a stunning end to a precise and swift build-up from the Portuguese - but it proved to be the high watermark in the match.

There were glimpses of real attacking intent from both sides, but all too often defensive and midfield players remained pinned back.

It left little room for the opposition to exploit with swift counter-attacking moves, while Ronaldo soon started to become frustrated with the close attention he received.

The Portuguese captain and Guy Demel were both booked after a brief confrontation, with Ronaldo perhaps a little unfortunate after referee Jorge Larrionda failed to spot a clear foul by the Ivorian moments earlier.

Portugal, who only managed 17 goals in their 10 qualifying games, failed to test Barry again after Ronaldo's early shot until the Elephants keeper stopped a weak header from the largely anonymous Liedson after 57 minutes.

Raul Meireles, industrious in midfield, had a shot deflected wide, while Ronaldo, who has not found the net for Portugal since February 2009, missed the target with a free-kick.

Ivory Coast, who conceded twice in every game during their debut appearance at a World Cup in 2006, had only mustered errant long-range strikes from Siaka Tiene and Ismael Tiote during the opening 45 minutes.

However, they made a more incisive opening to the second half and the impressive Gervinho drilled a strike across the face of goal, while Salomon Kalou was inches away from connecting with a cross from the right and finally forced Eduardo into action with a low shot from the edge of the box.

And it was the Ivorians who finished the game on top, without actually managing to break the deadlock.

Drogba stretched to reach a through ball but his attempted shot ended up being more of a cross even though he was little more than eight yards out.

Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Flag 0-0 Portugal Flag Portugal FT

(HT 0-0)

  

Ivory Coast

Portugal

 

Substitutes:

Substitutes:

  • Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
  • Referee: J Larrionda
  • Attendance: 37,034
Ivory Coast     Portugal
  • Possession 47%
    53%
  • Attempts on target 1
    1
  • Attempts off target 7
    4
  • Corners 6
    5
  • Fouls 13
    14

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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