Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Group G)
The group of death is off and running.
Even without their star Didier Drogba, the Ivory Cost has kept up against the high-powered Portuguese side, led by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Chosen by most as the best African contender, the Ivory Cost is no stranger to competitive group matches. In the 2006 World Cup, they were grouped with both the Netherlands and Argentina, but failed to make it to the knock-out round.
The must-watch game has not disappointed so far.
Even play and a few good chances from both sides made for a good first 45 minutes.
Ronaldo had the best shot on goal in the 11th minute. A beautiful juke followed by a 35-yard strike was just wide, as it bounced off the right post. Ronaldo looks sharp so far, and hopes to reverse a 16-month scoring drought with his Portuguese side.
Drogba's absence is evident for the Ivory Cost. Portugal has dominated the time of possession and the Ivory Cost has had only a handful of shots, with none of them on goal.
Both teams look to be taking it a bit easy in the early going. I expect the second half to have more offensive punch, as the two teams will be more acclimated to the World Cup stage.
It's only a matter of time before Ronaldo puts one in the net.
Both teams have immense pressure to win today. Favorites Brazil are all but a shoe-in to progress.
It will be up left up to these two teams to win their way into the knock-out round.
7' - Didier Zokora issued a yellow card for challenge on Ronaldo.
11' - Beautiful strike from Ronaldo bounces of right post.
20' -Ronaldo and Guy Demel issued yellow cards.
Time of Possession - Portugal—60 percent, Ivory Cost—40 percent
Shots - Portugal—2, Ivory Cost—2
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