Ivory Coast has a great team. Organized, strong and resolute, in the first half they did everything except create a chance to score, while Portugal, although dominated for three-quarters of the time, managed a shot against the post, a wonderful strike from Captain Cristiano Ronaldo from outside the area on 11’. It took Portugal another 20 minutes to arrive in the Ivory Coast area. The rest of the time, it was the West African team attacking and Portugal looking fraught, distressed and unhappy, with their opponents winning the majority of man-on-man situations.
After the interval Kalou just failed to connect with the ball in front of the Portuguese goalkeeper and on 53’ shot straight at Eduardo from the edge of the area. Portugal started to grow more and had a growing share of the play. Queiroz brought on Simao for Danny and then Tiago for Deco, finally Amorim for Meireles but Portugal’s only half chance was when Liedson headed at Barry on the hour.
The last minutes belonged to Ivory Coast, the team which globally appeared more aggressive (6 corners to 4) but did not manage to penetrate the Portuguese defence and create moments of great danger.
Portugal: Eduardo, Bruno Alves, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mendes, Liedson, Danny (Simao), R. Meireles (Ruben Amorim), Deco (Tiago), Faio Coentrao
Ivory Coast: Barry, Tourekolo, Zokora, Kalou (Drogba), Tiote, Gervinho (Keita), Dindane, Tiene, Toure Yaya, Demel, Eboue (Romaric)
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill