World Cup Scores June 15th 2010: Drogba Plays, Ronaldo Excites, But Portugal and the Ivory Coast Go Nil, Nil

2 of the best

I went back and forth with futbol aficionados regarding Didier Drogba potentially playing vs. Portugal.  He’d was on the field just 10 days after surgery to repair his broken arm and in my eyes I couldn’t fathom why a star of such significance was even considering the prospect knowing the potential of further injury. What most told me was that because of who he was and how he has represented his country so well, he had to be on the field. That he was going up against arguably the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo heightened the reasons why he had to play.

During the 66th minute, Cote d’Ivoire manager Sven-Goran Eriksson signaled Drogba to go in the game and immediately I stood corrected.

Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth

- Port Elizabeth Stadium

Ivory Coast 0:0 Portugal

Group G

Both teams seemed to be satisfied (if not a little perturbed) with nil, nil and did little to win one of the most anticipated early matches this World Cup. The Ivory Coast boasted a powerful and athletic unit cemented by the presence of the aforementioned Drogba.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the Man of the Match, is the player everyone is looking to do the spectacular. Given his worldwide acclaim, it will be interesting to see if Ronaldo represents the reputation that precedes him.

In this match I saw a lot of dives by the superstar that definitely got under the skin of the Elephants in what was a physical game. Ronaldo had a rocket from 30 yards that went just outside the left post that was shot of the match. The West Africans finally got Drogba a shot on goal in stoppage time that he hooked wide. Ronaldo picked up a yellow card (21′) that seemed to be sort of a make up call after he was surely fouled. Maybe it was his reputation for diving that produced the card, I don’t know but even I knew that was a bad call.

Didier Zokora (7′) early and Guy Demel (21′) in an altercation with Ronaldo picked up yellow cards for Cote d’Ivoire who have the unenviable task of facing the Brazilians next. Neither team could afford a loss with Brazil favored to get out of the Group of Death so you could see the strategy in the way the game was played. It also will be interesting to see which team out of these two moves on. You could see the respect between Drogba and Ronaldo after them embraced when it was all said and done.

Côte d’Ivoire (CIV) Statistics Portugal (POR)
5 Shots 7
1 Shots on goal 2
0 Goals Scored 0
18 Fouls Committed 13
12 Fouls Suffered 16
6 Corner kicks 4
14 Free kicks Shots (scored) 18
0 / 0 Penalty Kicks (Goals/Shots) 0 / 0
2 Offsides 1
0 Own goals 0
2 Yellow cards 1
0 Second yellow card and red card 0
0 Red Cards 0
36 Actual playing time 37
50% Possession (%) 50%

Ellis Park Stadium

Brazil 2:1 Korea DPR

Group G

The five time World Champions and owners of the FIFA number 1 world ranking faced a team sitting at 105. North Korea hasn’t scored a goal in the World Cup in 44 years let alone get a win but JI Yun Nam (89′) changed that to make things a little sketchy after Maicon (55′) scored from a ridiculous angle and Elano’s (72′) easy goal minutes later. Striker Jong Tae-Se played well and his tears pre-match should remind us all how big this tournament truly is. Maicon was the Man of the Match.  Ramires (84′) picked up a yellow card for the Brazilians.

Brazil (BRA) Statistics Korea DPR (PRK)
26 Shots 11
10 Shots on goal 3
2 Goals Scored 1
9 Fouls Committed 10
9 Fouls Suffered 9
7 Corner kicks 3
9 Free kicks Shots (scored) 5
0 / 0 Penalty Kicks (Goals/Shots) 0 / 0
3 Offsides 1
0 Own goals 0
1 Yellow cards 0
0 Second yellow card and red card 0
0 Red Cards 0
47 Actual playing time 28
63% Possession (%) 37%

Royal Bafokeng Stadium

New Zealand 1:1 Slovakia

Group F

Winston Reid (90′+3) headed in a cross in injury time to draw Slovakia 1-1. Robert Vittek (50′) scored for SVK and was the Man of the Math. Tony Lockhead (42′) and Reid (90′ +3) picked up yellow cards for New Zealand while (55′) Zdenko Strba (55′) collected one for Slovakia.

New Zealand (NZL) Statistics Slovakia (SVK)
8 Shots 13
2 Shots on goal 3
1 Goals Scored 1
17 Fouls Committed 15
14 Fouls Suffered 17
3 Corner kicks 10
8 Free kicks Shots (scored) 8
0 / 0 Penalty Kicks (Goals/Shots) 0 / 0
0 Offsides 1
0 Own goals 0
2 Yellow cards 1
0 Second yellow card and red card 0
0 Red Cards 0
32 Actual playing time 30
52% Possession (%) 48%

10 Responses to “World Cup Scores June 15th 2010: Drogba Plays, Ronaldo Excites, But Portugal and the Ivory Coast Go Nil, Nil”

  1. Temple3 says:

    This is the one match I wanted to watch. Missed it.

    I’m rooting for the African nations to hold it down. Nigeria disappointed, but then again, they were playing Argentina. I’d like to see Cameroon get it going.

    Then again, there is always Africa West, aka Brazil…and Africa North, aka France.

  2. Temple3 says:

    On Drogba — there wasn’t any way in the world he was going to sit out a World Cup match against Portugal…absolutely no way…even with a broken leg, he’d have taken the field.

    Brazil ALWAYS reminds me of a big cat that likes to play with its food. They have no fear of death — not even of the food running away successfully…so they kick it around, paw it to irritation, nip at its heels and derive pleasure from the countdown to execution. Sometimes, they go too far — and when the prey is utterly defenseless, this fooling around is not merciful or pretty. It’s something else entirely.

  3. Mizzo says:

    That match would have been classic down the line. I’m really getting in to this. Can’t wait for the later rounds.

    Africa better stand up!

  4. sankofa says:

    I beg to differ; Renaldo is not the best player in the world. I feel Drogba and even Samuel Eto’o are more dominant than he. I am an occasional soccer watcher (wouldn’t call myself a fan) and only tune in near the championship rounds.

    That being said, the Brazil-North Korea game showed me some holes on their game. As Temple said, they were to chill. This has gotten them in trouble in the past and maybe if Korea had stopped playing possum for -what- 80 minutes? The Brazilians would have been in trouble. Then again if the game was opened up, they would have probably scored 5 goals on Korea, such is the game when talented teams meet less talented ones. I say they have holes, because they were in the Korean side for something like the whole half. Had about 10 opportunities to score and either got out of control, rushed plays or tried to go 1 on 2 with the defence.

    I also saw that travesty of a game between South Africa and Uruguay. After the first 5 minutes, I new this ref wasn’t going to let South Africa win. That last call against the goalie was clear evidence of this. Ahhh! futbol, still the most corrupt referring yet!

  5. Tariq says:

    I can’t stand Ronaldo. I can’t stand his diving and his annoying facial expressions and his whining. But he’s the second-best player in the world. You can’t say that Drogba or Eto’o are better than him. Bear in mind that Samuel Eto’o is my favorite player in any sport. I have an Internazionale jersey with his name on it even though I hate Inter as a team. Eto’o is one of the most underrated players in the world. He won three Champions Leagues, scoring in two Finals. There aren’t too many people who have done that in the history of the sport. But if I were a general manager and I could pick any player to build my team around, the only player I’d pick ahead of Ronaldo is Lionel Messi. Messi is an all-time great at 22. He has a chance to be the best ever. If you haven’t seen the goal he scored against Getafe a couple of years ago, YouTube it. He was NiNETEEN when he scored it.

  6. Tariq says:

    Also, regarding the Uruguay-South Africa game, the goalie definitely did NOT deserve a red card, but it was clearly a penalty. I don’t think the refereeing is “corrupt” though. I mean, look at the red card Lukovic got against Ghana… these are all just regular old f*ck-ups.

  7. Tariq says:

    Regarding the African teams, here’s my breakdown:

    South Africa: This is a very bad team. There is NO WAY they could have qualified from Africa. The only reason they’re even playing in this competition is because they are the hosts.They didn’t even qualify for the African Cup of Nations. South Africa had a very good team in the 90s, but this team is VERY weak.

    Algeria: They have a good defense but no offensive capabilities whatsoever. I wish Egypt had qualified instead.

    Nigeria: Not a very good team, and they’re also missing John Mikel Obi, their best player, but they’re in a weak group so maybe they can beat Greece and South Korea and advance to the next round.

    Cameroon: I was hugely disappointed by Cameroon. I really wanted them to be the surprise team of this tournament, but they just don’t have much outside of Samuel Eto’o. No creative midfielders at all.

    Ghana: They’re missing Michael Essien, one of the best players in the world at his position, but they’re still very formidable. I think they could make a deep run.

    Cote d’Ivoire: The most talented team in Africa (although they have an awful goalkeeper who looks a little like Tupac Shakur). The problem is that they’re in the Group of Death. I think they’re much better than Portugal, and I hope they advance. I think they have the potential to make a DEEP run if they get past the group stage.

    Talking about African teams makes me nostalgic for the Nigeria team that played in the 1994 World Cup. That was the best African team EVER in my opinion. Plus, they had the best goal celebrations!

  8. Temple3 says:

    Tariq:

    Was the 1994 Nigerian team better than the 1990 Cameroon team with Roger Milla? They beat Argentina and Colombia and almost beat England to get to the Round of 8 vs. Germany. Argentina eventually lost to Germany in the Finals, but Cameroon was as good as any of those teams.

  9. Tariq says:

    Temple3:

    Cameroon ’90 and Senegal ’02 both reached the last 8 of the World Cup, which is as far as any African team has gotten in the competition. Nigeria ’94 only reached the last 16. But if you look at that tournament, Nigeria won their group, then they lost to Italy (who eventually lost to Brazil in the Finals on penalties) 2-1. That Nigeria – Italy game was a classic: Nigeria led 1-0 up until the final minutes of the match, when Roberto Baggio, an all-time great, scored the equalizer. In extra time, Baggio scored again from a penalty.

    Based on what I saw from Nigeria, I think that if they had managed to hold on and beat Italy, they could have advanced all the way to the Final. I mean, Italy beat Bulgaria in the semi-final. Bulgaria had a very good team that year. They had Hristo Stoichkov, one of the best players ever. Nigeria DESTROYED Bulgaria 3-0 in the group stages. I mean they abused the hell out of them. Nigeria ’94 played with so much style and they had countless offensive weapons. I really loved that team.

    Of course, Cameroon ’90 were a great team too. I would say that they were arguably as good as any of the teams at the 1990 World Cup, with the exception of (West) Germany.

  10. Temple3 says:

    I remember that Nigeria-Italy game. Gut wrenching stuff. Thanks for the perspective.

    Both Cameroon and Nigeria beat teams that lost in the finals. I suspect that if my memories of their loss to England was better, we’d still be at it. Either way, thanks for reminding me about that damn Baggio!!!!

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