Brazil might have won 3-1 against Côte d’Ivoire and became the third team to qualify for the round of 16 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but their victory was not the sweetest of all, as a Drogba consolation and a late red card for Ricardo Kaka visibly spoiled the Brazilians’ party.
Sevilla striker and 2009 Confederations Cup top scorer Luis Fabiano first placed Brazil in front on 25 minutes after a great combination with Kaka, when he lashed the ball at the back of the net, much to the Ivorian keeper’s surprise.
Côte d’Ivoire lacked decency and connection, and hence were incapable of putting pressure on Julio Cesar.
Fabiano again punished the African stars for their sloppiness with a second goal on 50 minutes. Yet this time, controversy was at its highest level.
Fabiano clearly appeared to handle the ball before firing a strike past a helpless goalie. But although replays showed the French referee interacting with the forward, and pointing at his own arm, the officials let the goal stand.
This gave Brazil a dirty 2-0 lead just moments before the hour mark, but hunger was still worrying the Samba Boys. And a 61st minute shot from Elano was enough to humiliate the Ivorians, following a good individual effort from Kaka.
Drogba finally got a consolation on 79 minutes, when he beat the offside trap to head the ball into an unprotected net. From that minute, it seemed like the Elephants had received a huge boost of courage and confidence.
And as a justification of Portugal’s complaints against Côte d’Ivoire on match-day one, the Ivorians started to exhibit their physical strength by committing fouls on their South American “enemies”.
Subsequently, Brazil were given a free-kick, due to a mistake from the Africans. However, Keita took the ball as a sign of unfairness. Consequently, an angry Kaka lost his temper and kicked the Galatasaray forward to gain the ball back.
Eventually, Kaka was entered into the book. But Keita was still willing to take his personal revenge on the Real Madrid superstar. His moment finally came minutes before the end of the encounter, when he dived inside his own half, following minor contact with the Brazilian talisman.
Being aware of how beneficial the consequences could be, Keita went down theatrically, and the tricked referee eventually flashed a second yellow card to Kaka, sending the No. 10 player off.
The lead nonetheless remained intact, despite this potent modification in the South American team. But indubitably, Coach Dunga and captain Lucio looked more sad than excited.
This means that Brazil will face Portugal without the likes of Kaka, while Ivory Coast face the uphill task of humiliating Korea DPR by a great goal margin to reach the knockout phase, depending on the results of Portugal in their games against the Asians, and against Group G’s leaders.
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