Friday, June 25, 2010

Great teams but not so great game

Group G, 14:00 GMT, June 25, 2010
Durban Stadium, Durban, South Africa

0 - 0

Portugal failed in their attempt to beat Brazil and climb above the World Cup heavyweights in a toothless Group G match in Durban.

Brazil clinched top spot while the Portuguese got the point they needed to finish second in the standings to also progress to the second round ahead of Ivory Coast, who defeated North Korea.
The Brazilians will play the runners-up of Group H in their next game while Portugal will take on the winners from that pool.

Scoring Summary


Man of the Match: Fabio Coentrao


  • Man of the Match: Fabio Coentrao - A rare source of energy in what was a lethargic game, Coentrao was particularly impressive in the first half as he drove forwards and put some dangerous balls into the box. With Maicon and Dani Alves both on the right for Brazil, it looked set to be a tough afternoon's work for Coentrao, but he was rarely troubled defensively and attacked with real intent.

  • Portugal verdict: While they never came alive, Portugal contained Brazil well and had the better of the game's limited opportunities. Raul Meireles looked one of the more threatening players in the Portugal squad and should be looking to get forward more often but, defensively, Ricardo Costa looked a little vulnerable against Nilmar's pace.

  • Brazil verdict: Knowing a draw would take them through in first place, Brazil made major changes in attack and never looked like overexerting themselves. In isolation, this would be viewed as a poor performance and give Dunga's critics more ammunition, but they have shown they can step it up when required and a perfunctory showing like this is little cause for concern.

  • Could do better: Cristiano Ronaldo - While he is very capable of moments of magic, his attempts to score every time he receives the ball are generally counter-productive. He needs to stop trying to win every game on his own if Portugal are to succeed at this World Cup, particularly given his poor goal-scoring form for his country.

  • Stat attack: Prior to the game, Brazil had failed to score just twice in their last 21 World Cup matches, both of which came against France.

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