The scoring woes continue for Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo. In yet another scoreless affair for this World Cup, Portugal tied 0-0 with a strong Ivory Coast team.
It's been more than a year since Ronaldo has scored for the national side.
He got close from forty yards out when he shot a superb bender that hit the left post. And then he disappeared.
Faced with the physical play, Ronaldo continued to dive at the slightest touch. To the chagrin of all non-Portuguese, he was carded in the twentieth minute for diving followed by a confrontation with an Ivorian player.
Ronaldo could have created great scoring opportunities if he'd kept going with the great plays he'd created instead of diving to the ground.
Ronaldo had a couple good plays in which he helped create offense for the rest of his team when he created space off the dribble.
As the game progressed and he became increasingly frustrated, he continued to overplay his actions. He reverted to one dribble too long as he continued to find himself in front of an Ivorian wall that he couldn't get through, instead of passing the ball to open up the game.
In his defense he got little help from Deco and Simao, who should have been directing the midfield, and helping him get in a position where that kind of play could work for him.
A Troubled Side
The game was a representation of everything that is wrong with Portugal and Ronaldo.
The Portuguese were able to control possession for large portions of the game, but they couldn't create any options for a goal.
Sometimes Ronaldo seems like a five year old child when he's on the ground. When things stop going his way, he starts throwing tantrums.
Ronaldo even complained to the official when he, himself flicked the ball out of bounds. He seemed to give up on using his feet to make plays, instead being resolved to letting his feet go out from under him and flopping to the ground.
Considering how well he hit the first ball, it's not a horrible strategy. Any of the free kicks the officials gift him he could hit into goal.
Maybe that's the only way the Portuguese will solve their scoring troubles.