16.6.10

world cup 2010 – day 5: teary day, new zealand gets their 1st point, group of death starts

Tears flowed freely on Day 5 of the competition as players showed what it meant to represent their country in the world’s biggest event. Ryan Nelsen (NZL), Jong Tae-Se (PRK) and Maicon (BRA) all let their feelings shown in full view of football fans all around the world.

reid-winston100615gettySole Oceania representative, New Zealand, got off to a great start in their first World Cup match since 1982, securing their first ever point, after drawing 1-1 with Slovakia. Clearly the underdogs in this year’s tournament, New Zealand seemed unfazed by that tag in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, as they were able to provide some stiff competition to their opponent. However as the match progressed, Slovakia started to show flair and dominate possession. Vladimir Weiss, was their most enterprising player, providing few chances for his team mates to pounce on. The score however, remained nil-nil until the half-time whistle. The second half started in Slovakia’s way, when in the 50th minute, Robert Vittek planted a header from Stanislav Sestak’s cross into the net. Slovakia went in search for the second goal but to no avail. Instead it was the All Whites, against all the odds, who got the goal deep into injury time, when Winston Reid, headed a Shane Smeltz (who himself missed a chance seconds earlier) cross, past the rasping Slovakian goalkeeper, Jan Mucha, for their place in history. Smug

Cristiano-Ronaldo-Ivory-C-006 The Group of Death, Group G started in Day 5. The first match was between Ivory Coast and Portugal in the Port Elizabeth Stadium. Both teams treated the match very cautiously, with chances scarcely coming. Only one shot on target was registered in the first half, when Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo smacked his shot against the Ivorian goal post. The second half was very much similar to the first, with both teams limited to half chances, and some long range efforts. Didier Drogba, who was doubtful before the match, but was named on the bench, was introduced in 66th minute, and could have found the net in injury time, but he couldn’t take advantage of Kader Keita’s through pass. Portugal will face North Korea in their next game, while Ivory Coast will play Brazil. A second 0-0 match, in a tournament already short on goals, is not exactly what we want. Yawn

Elano-Brazil-v-North-Kore-006 The second match of the group was between five-time champions Brazil and North Korea, which took place in Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg. For the neutrals, North Korea will be the easy pickings of the group, besides, they are the 105th ranked team in the world! But amazingly, the North Koreans showed good heart, and matched the Brazilians quite well. They kept their defence solid and tight, and at the same time came up with their own attacking initiatives as well. The 0-0 scoreline at half-time was proof, that they have done more than enough, to contain the South Americans. The second half started differently however, as Brazil began to show their superiority, dominating every department on the field, and controlling possession. It finally bear fruit when Maicon scored a superb goal in the 55th minute. Elano doubled Brazil’s lead in the 72nd after latching on Robinho’s brilliant through ball. However, North Korea’s hard work hadn’t gone unnoticed however, and it was rewarded when Ji Yun-Nam coolly slotted past Julio Cesar, off Jong Tae-Se’s headed pass. It was a far from convincing performance by Brazil, but hats off to the North Koreans for their brave display. Applause

June 15
Group F
NZL 1 SVK 1

Group G
POR 0 CIV 0
BRA 2 PRK 1

Group E Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Italy 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
New Zealand 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Paraguay 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Slovakia 1 0 1 0 1 1 1

Group F Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Brazil 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
Ivory Coast 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Portugal 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
North Korea 1 0 0 1 1 2 0

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