Day 10, Match 3
Brazil vs. Ivory Coast, Group G
Date and Location
June 20, Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Brazil made a strange but ultimately winning start to World Cup 2010. North Korea’s deep defending held the Canarinho at bay for a whole half, and the Chollima also scored a late consolation, but Brazil were ultimately in control and deservedly won 2-1. There was some criticism from back home, but three points is three points. Gilberto Silva was a doubt for this game, but coach Dunga has now confirmed that his defensive midfielder he’s fit to play.
For Ivory Coast it’s all about Didier Drogba again. The broken-armed striker played the last 30 minutes of Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal with his right arm in a FIFA approved protective cast, and didn’t look particularly comfortable. For better or worse, coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has suggested Drogba may even start this game.
What’s at stake
Brazil leads the group with three points following a 2-1 win over last-place North Korea. The Ivory Coast and Portugal battled to a 0-0 draw and are tied for second with one point apiece.
If the Portugal-North Korea match doesn’t produce a winner, Brazil could wrap up a spot in the second round with a win in this game. A victory, or even a draw, would still allow them to retain their hold on first place and put them in a pretty strong position going into the final round of group games.
Portugal is expected to beat North Korea (and if they do, they’ll have four points) so this really is a game that the Ivory Coast can’t lose. They need to collect three points in order to have a realistic chance of claiming a second-round berth.
Midfielder Ramires earned a yellow card in Brazil’s previous match. If he picks one up against the Ivory Coast , he will be suspended for his country’s final game of the group stage.
Defender Guy Demel and Didier Zokora are in a similar predicament for the Ivory Coast.
Player to watch for Brazil
Kaka – The Real Madrid playmaker is coming off an pretty average season and didn’t exactly shine in Brazil’s win over North Korea. People are starting to question whether he’s still among the elite players in the wrld. A strong outing against the Ivorians would help silence the critics.
Player to watch for Ivory Coast
Didier Drogba —He came on as a substitute against Portugal while wearing a protective cast on his broken arm against Portugal but couldn’t inspire his team. If he plays against Brazil, look for the Chelsea star to make something happen inside the box.
Yaya Toure vs. Kaka —In one-on-one situations, the Ivorian midfielder’s physical attributes give him an edge. Toure is a tower of solid muscle and boundless strength, and he’ll need every ounce of it to stop Kaka, who is looking to break out at this tournament.
The Brazilian perspective
“There is a difference when you play against the biggest teams, they go for the game, they want to win also and then that opens the game up.” – midfielder Gilberto Silva
The Ivory Coast perspective
“We have to play the same as we did against Portugal: compact, as a unit, and to battle for every ball. We must on no account allow Brazil to play their natural game.” –forward Salomon Kalou
All time head-to-head
Brazil and the Ivory Coast have never met at in international play at senior level.