IVORY COAST 0
Ivory Coast and Portugal played out a cautious goalless draw in Group G with neither side prepared to give the other an inch. The headlines were written before the game when the talismanic Didier Drogba was left out of the Ivorian starting line up following his fractured arm, and the game’s other star billing, Cristiano Ronaldo, was unable to make the difference for the Portuguese.
Ronaldo almost opened the scoring in spectacular style in the 11th minute, smashing a superbly struck shot from distance against the post having cleverly worked himself space. Ronaldo was at the centre of all the drama without ever really getting into his stride. As early as the seventh minute, he went down under minimal contact from Didier Zokora as he broke through the middle, with the Ivorian centre-back receiving a yellow card. Ronaldo followed Zokora into the referee’s notebook along with Guy Demel after the Ivory Coast right-back squared up to the Portuguese captain who he perceived to have again gone down easily under challenge. Siaka Tiene came close for Les