Ivory Coast vs. Portugal World Cup 2010 Live Blog: Results, Scores, Play by Play

Craig FarrellCorrespondent IJune 15, 2010

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 4:  In this handout photo provided by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, Group G, showing Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal during the 2010 Soccer World Cup Final Draw at the CTICC on December 4, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa)
Handout/Getty Images

Hello, and welcome to the live blog coverage of the first game of Group G. Ivory Coast will face Portugal in what will most likely be the the game that decides who will qualify behind Brazil from Group G.

Ivory Coast have been given the boost of star striker Didier Drogba being cleared to wear a protective cast on his injured elbow. Portugal have their star man and former World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, looking to "explode" for his country after a long goal drought.

Full-time Synopsis:

Overall, the game was poor considering the quality that was on show. Portugal had one great chance, which was a long-range effort from Ronaldo.

The Ivory Coast were the better side and the better team. A draw does neither team any good as second place will more than likely come down to who scores more against North Korea or concedes less against Brazil.

93: Zokara and the Portugal manager exchange words on the sideline. The Ivory Coast take a short corner which results in the final whistle.

Full-time.

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92: Keita whips in a cross that has to be headed behind for a corner to the Ivory Coast.

91: Keita slid a great ball into Drogba who could only cut the ball across the six yard box rather than take a shot.

90: The game has moved into additional time and it looks set to end a draw.

89: A Portugal corner comes to nothing, much like all their set plays in this game.

Amorim takes a long shot that balloons into the crowd.

88: Ivory Coast sub: Romaric comes on to replace Eboue.

87: Neither team can find that cutting ball or move to open up the other side.

84: Portugal Sub: Amorim comes on for Meireles. Toure looks injured again and have been in the wars during this game.

83: Tiote tried a through ball to Dindane, but the ball hit an Ivory Coast player on the way and resulted in Dindane become offside. 

81: Ivory Coast Sub: Gervinho comes off for Keita. This seems like a strange move as Gervinho has been one of Ivory Coast's biggest threats.

80: A deep cross into the Portugal box has to be cleared by Ferreira.

79: Ronaldo lines up the shot. The ball just goes over the crossbar to the relief of the Ivory Coast.

78: Meireles tries a long effort which goes wide of the Ivory Coast post.

Ronaldo is bundled down by Tiene and gives Portugal a free-kick in a decent position for a strike

77: Demel makes a strong run to Portugal's byline, but just fails to delivery the ball inside.

Toure knocks the ball out for a throw and has gone to the ground and seems to be suffering from cramp.

76: Both sides seem to be out of attacking ideas.

75: The rain is starting to pour down even more now. Both teams are making moves forward but just can not find that creative spark to cause a decent threat on goal.

73: Liedson goes for a volley and nearly takes Zokora's head off. Lucky for the defender that the boot hit his shoulder and not his face.

72: Zokora pushes Ronaldo over and gifts Portugal a free-kick. The set play was terrible and easily cleared by Ivory Coast.

70: Two corners from Simao have lead to nothing. Throw in results from the second corner

The ball finally goes in the back of the net but it was called back for a foul, which seems quite harsh for Portugal.

68: Coentrao concedes the corner after a good cross comes through the penalty box. the corner is wasted by the Ivory Coast.

67: Ronaldo wins a throw deep in the Ivory Coast half. Liedson heads it down to Ronaldo but the Ivory Coast snuff out the danger.

Portugal have been very average to say the least.

65: A long shot from Yaya Toure goes well wide. Never really looked like hitting it right

64: Gervinho pulls three portugese players with him, which shows just how dangerous he has been thus far.

Ivory Coast Sub: Drogba comes on to replace his Chelsea teammate Kalou.

63: Liedson failed to control a long-ball in the box and losses a fine chance to test Barry who has had little to do.

61: Portugal Sub: Deco makes way for Tiago.

60: It will be only a matter of time before Drogba is risked, as Ivory Coast are causing the most problems.

A better ball from Dindane could have put Gervinho one-on-one but it went harmlessly out.

59: Tiene breaks up what looked to be a potentially dangerous Portugal attack.

Gervinho heads the ball over the crossbar, but should have done better. Portugal look in trouble.

58: Gervinho uses his pace to skip past Ferreira to win a corner. Short corner leads to nothing.

57: Liedson gets his head to a Deco cross. Very little power behind the header and it is quite easy for Barry.

56: Mendes makes a fantastic tackle to dispossess Kalou on the edge of the area.

54: Portugal Sub: Danny makes way for Simao, who arguably should have been starting.

53: Gervinho is causing Portugal some problems. The Ivory Coast would be better suited to get Drogba on to open room up for Gervinho.

Yaya Toure squares it to Kalou who forces Eduardo into a save. The shot lacked any real malice.

52: Both teams are passing the ball nicely but are just lacking that final production. 

49: No changes have occurred yet, but it will be sooner rather than later, especially for Portugal who look quite sluggish so far.

48: The Ivory Coast have had the better possession and chances so far early in the second-half.

47: The crowd are very noisy despite quite a few empty seats considering the quality line-ups on the field.

46: Long ball sends Gervinho behind the Portugal defense. A strong shot is palmed away from Eduardo and was the best chance so far for the Ivory Coast.

The resulting corner leads to nothing. 

45: The Ivory Coast get the second-half underway.

First-Half Synopsis:

Overall both teams should feel that deserve to be level. Ronaldo came the closest to scoring with a beautiful shot from distance, but the Ivory Coast have been the more menacing going forward.

Both teams need to make changes be it just to their play or to their personal. Portugal could do with more attacking threats and could move Ronaldo more central and take Liedson off for Simao.

As for the Ivory Coast, Drogba is the obvious change but their main problem is lack of creativity from the midfield rather than up-front. All three strikers have played quite well.

46: Half-time whistle blows and the that is the half over.

45: Portugal should be quite disappointed that despite their opponents playing a midfielder, Didier Zokora, at centre-half, they have never really tested him.

44: Ivory Coast will be feeling better come half-time with their first-half performance.

42: Ivory Coast win a corner off Coentrao. The Ivory Coast look the more likely to score but they need to provide better final balls for their strikers.

The main problem is that it is either Kalou, Gervinho or Dindane that are trying to whip the ball in from out-wide.

40: Both teams look happy to play out the last few minutes

36: Gervinho has been the biggest threat for the Ivory Coast so far but he seems to be alone up-front to often. 

35: Coentrao works very well to win a goal-kick from Dindane. The game has not been as frantic as I thought it may have been considering the lack of talent in defense.

34: Ronaldo takes a clip to the ankle and wins a free-kick. He has been pretty quiet since his smashing shot.

Liedson nearly got through one-on-one but barry again rushes out and covers it up competently.

33: Deco tries to get Danny one-on-one with a through ball but Barry comes out to take it cleanly.

32: Ivory Coast seem unable to create anything when they carry the ball forward. Their main chances have came off fast breaks.

31: Portugal's attack has seem to withered somewhat. The Ivory Coast are able to snuff out everything they attempt.

30: Eboue is back up and play has resumed.

27: Eboue has stayed down after a Mendes tackle. Mendes missed the ball and caught Eboue on the inside of his leg. Pretty nasty and deserved a booking or at least a free-kick.

26: Gervinho again uses his skill to get into the Portuguese penalty area. Carvalho needs to slide in to break the move up at the expense of a corner, which leads to nothing.

25: Both teams are looking to use their fast attackers to out-pace the oppositions defenders. 

24: Ivory Coast have started to up their pressure on Portugal and they are having the lions share of the possession now.

23: Gervinho uses his pace to wiggle through the Portuguese defense, but just missed out on a chance to shoot after a last ditch clearance.

22: Plenty of stoppages have killed the flow of the game.

21: With Ronaldo picking up the yellow it will be interesting to see if he is willing to try a dive later on in the game.

20: Ronaldo was flipped just outside the box. Ronaldo was not giving the free and himself and Demel both get into it afterwards. Both players pick up a yellow for their troubles.

19: The crowd are in high-spirits as always as the drones rise at the glimpse of any attack.

17: When Ivory Coast attack they look like they could cause the aging Portgual defense problems.

16: Gervinho made a good run forward which led to a Tiote strike which just went over the crossbar.

14: Ivory Coast seem content to sit of Portugal and try and hit them on the counter.

13: A Ronaldo flick was intercepted and nearly lead to a scoring chance for Ivory Coast on the break.

Gervinho wins a free-kick in a threatening position. Tiene takes the free and it bends just wide of Eduardo's post.

12: I can tell you for a fact that the new World Cup ball has won a new fan.

11: What a strike. Ronaldo thumps a shot from 40 yards out and nearly breaks the Ivory Coast post. The keeper hadn't a hope of stopping that. What a bullet!

10: Portugal have most of the possession, but most of it is between their defenders or along the half-way line.

09: Ivory Coast attempted a counter-attack but the ball was too long. 

08: Danny wins a corner for Portugal, the first of the game. Deco swings the ball in from the left but ends up going over everyone.

07: Ronaldo sets up a long free-kick that hit the wall and goes out for a throw.

06: Ronaldo was about to break away until Zokora took his right foot. Very little contact but a yellow was given for studs showing.

05: Kalou takes Ronaldo down after some nice footwork from the Portuguese winger.

04: Portugal are allowed to hold the ball in their own half and have been forced to pump long balls.

Dindane wins a throw-in deep in Portugal's half, but leads to nothing 

03: First charge forward by Ivory Coast ends up in a dive and the ball going out for a goal kick.

02: Nice passing by Portugal but a lack of touch gives possession to the Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast seem happy to sit off Portugal and allow them onto them. Portugal seem to be closing down more.

01: Ronaldo gets his first touch and his first step-over to the cheer of the crowd.

00: Both teams break their huddles and Portugal get the game underway.

00: Teams are just walking out now and lining up for their respected national anthems.

Team News:

Ivory Coast: 4-3-3

Barry

Demel - Toure (C) - Zokora - Tiene

Eboue - Toure - Tiote

Gervinho - Dindane - Kalou

One To Watch: Gervinho

Portugal: 4-3-3

Eduardo

Ferreira - Alves - Carvalho - Coentrao

Deco - Mendes - Meireles

Ronaldo - Liedson - Danny

One To Watch: Ronaldo

Prediction:

Drogba starts on the bench for the Ivory Coast and that will give a great deal of confidence to the aging Portuguese back-line. I think Portugal's front men will be to crafty for the Ivory Coast back four and I think that Portugal will just nip this one.