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The Cup Running Over


June 25, 2010 11:51 AM

Group G in Review: Brazil and Portugal Go Through

WINNER: Brazil (7 points)

RUNNER UP: Portugal (5 points)

TURNING POINT: We're tempted to say it was the minute Brazil first took the field in the opening match but it was the Portuguese onslaught in the second half of its game with North Korea because that was the difference in seeing the team through. 

BEST MATCH: Portugal-Brazil was a fascinating defensive chess match but the best performance by a team in the entire first round may well have been Brazil's destruction of Ivory Coast, 3-1.

WORST MATCH: Portugal 7- North Korea 0. No fun, even if you like scoring. And especially if you're North Korean.

PLAYER OF THE GROUP: Not really a player but we're going to give it to Carlos Queiros, the Portuguese manager, oft-criticized in his home country. He was under heavy fire when the team almost failed to qualify but he has the Portuguese so well organized that it seems virtually impossible for anyone to score against them. They outplayed the Brazilians too. Now, if they could only score.

BIGGEST NO-SHOW: North Korea, obviously. One goal scored, 12 allowed. One of the worst showings in World Cup history.

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