Ivory Coast 0, Portugal 0
It’s nice to get an early feel for the pitch, Ronaldo hardly waited for the Portugal v Ivory Coast game to kick off before he was kissing the grass following a soft tackle and a theatrical roll. A few minutes later he showed the brilliant side of his game with a rocket shot that clipped the post. It was all Portugal in the first half but still goal less at half time.
Just into the second half Drogba came on wearing his FIFA approved plaster cast on his busted arm, and finally Svens latest team looked interested. It wasn’t enough though and as the rains poured, the goal drought brought a draw.
Brazil 2, North Korea 1
Not a classic Brazil display but enough class to make the purists purr. Korea were just glad to be there but defended well to keep Brazil at bay in the first half. Not impressed to see a few Brazil players wearing gloves, we would have been beaten with birch twigs for that in my school days.
The magic arrived in the second half, Brazil right back Maicon made a run down the flank and from an acute angle stroked the ball into the goal – audacious. Robinho looked back to his best, the liveliest he has been since his Tenerife tantrum with Man City. a fantastic cross from him disected the korea defence and it was a gift for Elano to score. The plucky Koreans never gave up and got their reward with a well taken 89th minute goal from Ji Yun Nam.
New Zealand 1, Slovakia 1
It’s great to see the diversity of nations making it to the World Cup finals, these two minnows clearly enjoyed the big stage. Chances were dew and far between in the first half as they got a feel for the big stage.
Vittek broke the deadlock after 50 minmutes to give Slovakia the lead and their solid defensive game seemed to have snuffed out the “All Whites” enthusiasm. There was a dream finish in the 93rd minute as Reid sneaked in unmarked and headed a leveller, before leading his team mates over to the section of New Zealand fans – one for the history books.