World Cup: Portugal v Holland, Mexico v Argentina

Portugal goes through to the last 16 in a World Cup for the first time in 40 years. Angola gets its second historic point and leaves the competition with its head held high. Mexico showed that it still has arguments to use and in the classic in Group C, 0-0 but another great game of football. Ivory Coast ended up giving the Serbia-Montenegro team the worst send-off they could have hoped for, because they will never again play in a World Cup.

Portugal 2 Mexico 1

Maniche 5’ Francisco Fonseca 28’

Simao Sabrosa 23’

Maniche shot the first on 5’, giving the kick-off for Portugal and perhaps for the rest of his career and on 23’, Simão Sabrosa scored a penalty after handball by Osório in the area after a corner. Fonseca got the Mexican goal after 28’, closing the scoreboard but both teams had their chances, among them a penalty, failed by Omar Bravo (Mexico) after 56’.

Angola 1 Iran 1

Flávio 60’ Bakhtiarizadeh 75’

Flávio scored Angola’s historic first goal in the World Cup finals, putting away a millimetric cross from (who else?) Ze Kalanga. Angola needed another goal in both games (Portugal against Mexico and one more against Iran) and for 15 minutes it was possible to dream of having three Portuguese-speaking teams in the last 16.

It was not to be - in this game due to Iran’s reaction and the tiredness of the Palancas Negras and in the other, Portugal had run out of shots and ideas - but the Angolan players fought as equals in the three games and next time can go further. All the team’s objectives were not only reached, but surpassed, and by far. Congratulations Angola for some spectacular football and see you next time, of this we have no doubt!

Final Classification Group D

Portugal (5-1) 9

Mexico (4-3) 4

Angola (1-2) 2

Iran (2-6) 1

Argentina 0 Holland 0

A nil-nil would indicate there is nothing to say but in fact each and every minute of this well-disputed, virile yet not dirty match of football brought incidents. Great game of football, a different league from what we have seen until now. Pity the opponents in the next round.

Ivory Coast 3 Serbia-Montenegro 2

Aruna Dindane 37’ pen Nikola Zigic 10’

Aruna Dindane 67’ Sasa Ilic 20’

Kalou Bonaventure 86’ (pen)

Ivory Coast was one of the African teams marked down to follow through. In the event it was not to be the case but a very respectable 2-1 defeat against Holland and Argentina and a win against a Serbia-Montenegro side which defied logic in this tournament was certainly no disgrace. Serbia may well be present in future World Cups. Montenegro, with the divorce from the Federal State, may very well have had its last appearance. It is very strange that this team loses three games and concedes 10 goals. Bootroom problems? Payment problems?

Final Classification Group C

Argentina (8-1) 7

Holland (3-1) 7

Ivory Coast (5-6) 3

Serbia-Montenegro (2-10) 0