BRAZIL- IVORY COAST
This was a comprehensive 3-1 victory, and a much more convincing performance from Brazil than the one we saw against North Korea. Although the match began cautiously, Brazil soon found its familiar flare, stringing several lovely moves together with quick, short passing. Luis Fabiano, who was more or less a no-show against North Korea, was back to his best, scoring two superb goals today. Elano also continued his excellent form, tapping in a superb ball from an uncharacteristically quiet Kaka. Although Cote D'Ivoire put together several good plays, it rarely looked like scoring until it finally did, through a wonderful Yaya Toure ball to Didier Drogba. And its defense was typical Elephant stuff: Last game's clean sheet was something of a mirage, caused by Portugal's ineffectual offense.
But for all the wonderful football, an already scrappy match turned ugly in the last 15 minutes. Studs were flying, especially from Cote D'Ivoire players: Cheick Tiote sent Elano off injured with a horrible challenge, and after coming on late in the match Abdul Kader Keita, normally a positive influence on the field, contributed nothing but malice, catching Michel Bastos in a tackle that could have broken the Brazilian's leg, and later feigning injury to get Kaka a thoroughly undeserved red card. A shameful performance from the Galatasaray man.
Brazil should leave this match bruised but full of confidence. Conceding another late goal should be a concern for Dunga, but overall Brazil looked back on its usual game, and will now have its sights set firmly on Spain in the next round, assuming the Spanish don't come back and win their group.Wikipedia: undefined »Wikipedia: Elano Ralph Blumer , commonly known as Elano, is a Brazilian footballer, who plays for Turkish Süper Lig side Galatasaray and the Brazilian national team. »