Brazil vs. Ivory Coast – Lively Live Blog
Okay folks, let’s set a few ground rules like last time.
First, this is not a reliable location for dry play-by-play commentary. If you are searching for a television viewing substitute, I suggest you go elsewhere. Think of this as more of a supplement, like a decent drug somewhat better than weed but not quite of LCD proportions.
Second, please do not comment profanities in all caps. Have the common sense and decency to use italics.
Third, the beautiful game trumps all partisan concerns. I am the Ivory Coast blogger, but above all I want to see these two sides play attractive and attacking football. Given that Dung and Eriksson are coaches, that is unlikely. But we can dream, can’t we?
Fourth, we are one hour away, so get ready to…
Drogba is starting in place of Dindane, but the rest of the lineup remains the same from the Portugal draw. Barry in goal, a backline of Demel, K. Toure, Zokora, Tiene, a midfield trio of Y. Toure, Eboue, Tiote, and Gervinho and Kalou will be wingers that play off Drogba.
This is a pretty positive lineup, although Eriksson deserves credit for the improved defensive shape of the ‘Coast. In the African Cup of Nations, the Elephants often looked lost when not in possession, with the wingers staying wide and not backtracking diligently. However, under Sven’s reign, the ‘Coast looks much stronger in the center of the park.
As for Brazil, they will start with the usual attacking quartet of Elano-Kaka-Robinho and Luis Fabiano up top. The Gervinho-Maicon matchup should be mouthwatering….
The First Half
The 7th Minute The nerves, the vuvuzelas, the neeeeerves. Brazil saw a lot of the ball early on, but Lucio and Juan and Gilberto passed circles towards nowhere. The Coast absorbed pressure early on, but slowly get to see more of the ball. Kaka, feeling charitable, has been giving the Elephants lots of free passes. How kind. No clear chances yet.
The 14th Minute Kaka continues his trouble with trapping simple passes while the Brazilian runs through Lucio. Which is to say, he dribbles forwards, passes to Maicon, and Maicon then passes to Kaka who gets dispossessed. For his part, Kalou has stuck to Maicon pretty closely. Eboue gets some spring in his step and is taken down by Gilberto, but Drogba’s shot/cross is horrendous.
The 19th Minute Lucio carefully blows a stray feather off Drogba’s shoulder and he falls like a sack of bags. Lucio complains like a…..
Eboue whips in a dangerous ball, but Kalou fouls Cesar so it comes to naught. Robinho has a bit of magic at the other end, but the ref has really allowed physical play so far.
The 24th Minute GOAL for Brazil. Quick, incisive close quarter passing by Kaka, Elano, and Fabiano creates a chance out of nothing. Fabiano finds himself in a tight angle, but unleashes a cannon over the keeper’s shoulder. A golazo to be sure, but it also means for the ‘Coast….
The 35th Minute - Brazil is dominating possession. The ‘Coast has dropped back too far and would make a turtle look aggressive. Meanwhile, Brazil is happy to pass the ball between Gilberto, Felipe Melo, and Lucio. Gilberto has tried to switch the fields a few times, but Bastos never seems to time his runs right. Exciting. Not…
The 42nd minute - the ‘Coast finally sees a bit of the ball, but is forced wide by the Brazilian defenders. The crosses and shots from distance fail to seriously trouble Julio Cesar, who graduated from the “not English thus competent” academy of ball grabbing.
Halftime – Brazil leads 1-0. Given the fact that both these teams are coached by Dunga and Eriksson, we should have expected this. Neither Gervinho nor Robinho has had space to breathe, let alone dribble, in the first half. The first 45 minutes were punctuated by a Brazil indifferent to attack with numbers, searching for switch passes to Bastos on the left hand side. Meanwhile, the ‘Coast was bereft of ideas and unwilling to pressure the Brazilians up the field. Kalou has done a great job marking Maicon, but you get the feeling the ‘Coast will have to advance lines if they are going to score…
In sum, a painful half of football. Let’s hope the second is superior…
Will the Ivory Coast wake up from their slumber? Could a second forward, like Dindane, add a spark? One thing is certain – the ‘Coast needs to get….
The Second Half
47th Minute – A Correction. Gervinho apparently has an arm ailment and did not start the game. However, for our viewing delight, he is now getting warmed up. We need you Gervy!
The 50th Minute - GOLAZO by Fabiano. . The Brazilian forward does two sombreros (self chip passes) over defenders and sends a low rocket that deflects of the keeper and flies into the net. Impressive, to say the least. Can the ‘Coast respond?
The 55th Minute – Drogba with a far post header, the Coast’s first good chance, but watches it fly agonizingly wide. However, Dindane comes off for Gervinho, so let’s hope for some fireworks…
The 65th Minute - the game slowly starts to open. First, Kalou and Gervinho work a nice one-two, but Kalou’s pass is a bit long. At the other end, Robinho plays in Maicon, who crosses for Kaka, Kaka dummies for Robinho who then plays in Kaka. However, Kaka’s shot is right at the keeper. A minute later, Kaka rampages down the left and squares for the fleet footed Elano who slots home to the far post. GOAL by Brazil. 3-0
The 66th Minute – Elano goes to ground for a tackle but gets the worst of it and is taken off on a stretcher. Dunga immediately subs on Dani Alves to take his place. Hope Elano is okay, even though he has kinda destroyed us so far this game.
The 75th Minute - Eriksson takes off the unimpressive Eboue and tosses on Romaric, who rifles a pildriver from distance that Cesar can’t hold onto. However, neither Drogba nor Kalou follows the rebound and the danger dissipates. Brazil continues their patient passing game, eventually finding Alves in space but his shot is tame and straight at the keeper. Yaaaaaaaaawn.
The 80th Minute - Gervinho dribbles the entire pitch by himself after a Brazil cornerkick, but a desperate Lucio tackle snuffs out the danger. Still, Gervinho gets the ball back, plays back to Toure, who crosses to Drogba that heads home! GOAL by the ‘Coast (with hints of offside)
The 85th Minute - the Ivory Coast is walking the line, getting in some late tackles and really struggling to keep their focus. One more goal and they are even with North Korea on goal differential, stay positive……
Further embarrassment – Kaka nudges Keita with his elbow and Keita drops to the ground like he’s been shot. The ref is swindled, though, shows Kaka a second yellow, and Kaka gets sent off. Ugghh. From ugly to cynical ugly. And the worst part is that the Coast would benefit from Kaka playing the next match against Portugal!
Full Time - The Coast had one last chance when Keita latched onto a cross and played the ball back for Drogba, but Cesar got his fingertip to the pass and saved Brazil a sure goal.
So the ‘Coast loses and you have to give lots of credit to Brazil. Luis Fabiano was ruthless in front of net, finishing his only two clear chances of the game. Kaka also got involved in the game, despite a late (and unjust) sending off. Still, the ‘Coast still has a point from the first game and a winnable match vs. North Korea. So I guess.
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