BfB Goes To The World Cup 2010 (Without leaving the front room)

The second game presents a problem for Ivory Coast – and teams in a similar position – in this World Cup with the change from count back to goal difference giving significance to the scoreline that was not previously there.

Ivory Coast take on Brazil with Sven Goran Eriksson putting out two lines of four with Yaya Touré drifting between the lines at the back and Didier Drogba – back from his broken arm – as the lone front man. The result is always going to be a tight game with the space that the South Americans revel in exploiting being reduced along with the chances of the Africans scoring freely.

With a draw between Ivory Coast and Portugal with – one assumes – a couple of wins over North Korea the the two sides in the group who met in the opening game of this group will be divided by how much they beat Korea by and how little the lose to Brazil or – if possible – the draw they could steal.

Nevertheless the onus is on not conceding to progress. Brazil are penned in but find some room after a half hour when Kaká manages to get a pass off to Luis Fabiano who is free in the box and slams into the roof of the net. It is as much as the Brazilians are able to muster and a good turn from Kaká while Ivory Coast will no doubt be told by Eriksson that they are performing their jobs well.

Indeed they are. The Africans are keeping a tight defensive posture and the hope for the Swede is that his side will keep in the game and equalise or failing that keep the scoreline to something which can be countered by a hefty win over North Korea.

Eriksson is wrong. The Ivory Coast are undone in a ten minute spell that see Luis Fabiano take a high ball and juggle it over one defender – suspicion of hand ball – and then another – defiantly hand ball – before finishing well. Perhaps thought it has to be said that it does not take the skills of a Brazilian to score if you are allowed to use your arms to control the ball.

The third goal is a more impressive affair with Kaká getting released down the left and working the ball down to the touchline jinking in to the box and putting in a low cross which Elano is able to get to without much competition from Kolo Touré. A few minutes later Elano is off after a nasty injury following a tackle on Cheick Tioté in which the African went in with studs showing.

Drogba get his goal heading in after the impressive Gervinho who finally got off the bench and took the ball on a seventy yard counter attack which saw the 23 year old Lille striker recycle the ball to Yaya Touré who centred to the totemistic striker.

All passion before play Ivory Coast come alive with a goal and the cheer of the supporters. How could a manager get them so wound up before kick off?

The passion boils over. Tioté nails Luis Fabiano following a yellow card for Kaká for what looks to be ball theft. Kaká pushes Kader Keïta who falls holding his face and the Brazilian is sent off although his punishment is a second yellow – not a red card – so he will only miss the game with Portugal. Referee Stephane Lannoy has got things wrong tonight – the goal, the red card for Kaká, nothing for Tioté’s tackle on Elano.

The Ivory Coast players come out of the scuffles with little credit and even less time left to make the man advantage count even to get although his is much to do with Keïta’s pull back after a superb cross field pass being plucked from the sky by Júlio César. They would hope that they can make good on the two goals down in goal difference they are against North Korea.

Which assumes that Brazil beat Portugal to give Ivory Coast a chance and – after a last ten minutes of being roughed up – there seems very little reason for them to break a sweat to do that.

Brazil are through, Ivory Coast will struggle now.

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