The Group of Death at this World Cup, Group G, started into the tournament today.
(to be updated after the second game)
Ivory Coast 0-0 (0-0) Portugal
Ivory Coast and Portugal played out a dull goalless draw in their opening Group G match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The first session between Ivory Coast and Portugal was more like a match of chess. Both sides played out of a strong defence and didn't want to give away any space to the other side. But Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo could once show his class in the 11th minute when he turned and let fly a shot which hit to post. Only three minutes later Ivory Coast had a free kick which Siaka Tiené just put wide. Thereafter once more the match was mainly confined to the midfield which loads of miss passes and mistakes.
The match opened up a little after the break with Ivory Coast becoming a little more adventurous, but the Portuguese remained somewhat subdued. And after the initial hope that the match would gain some pace it returned to its old pattern with both teams checkmating each other. In the end substitute Didier Drogba could have been the hero for his side, but his shot went wide in injury time.
Brazil 2-1 (0-0) North Korea
Goals: 1-0 Maicon (55'), 2-0 Elano (72'), 2-1 Yun-Nam Ji (89').
Record world champions Brazil somewhat beat underdogs North Korea 2-1 in their opening game at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.
In very cold conditions North Korea were able to hold Brazil to a goalless draw after the first 45 minutes. And the cold weather didn't help the Selecao as their movements were limited which helped the North Koreans and they can take heart from this performance, but in attack they looked too weak to worry the South Americans.
Coach Dunga seemed to have found the right words in his half time speech as Brazil did do more after the break. But they needed a fluke goal to go ahead. Right back Maicon got a through ball on the right and his shot went into the goal between post and goalkeeper, who left an open space in the 55th minute. And if one thought that now North Korea would fall apart that certainly didn't happen though Brazil's game got better. And in the 72nd minute Elano doubled the lead with a well-placed shot past the North Korean keeper Myong-Guk Ri. The game was won and Brazil reduced their work load and the hard working North Koreans earned their goal a minute from time when Yun-Nam Ji scored with a beautiful shot past Julio Cesar.