Brazil 3–1 Ivory Coast:Beautiful Brazilian Game Wins Over African Craft

Come son. I’ll teach you how football is played. 

Brazil, having played in each and every edition of the World Cup and the only team to do so, had their objective clearly defined, three full points was the order of the day against the inexperienced Ivory Coast side. Representing every number from 1 to 11, the South American power-house took the field, The Elephants winger Dindane sent his traditional prayers skywards and Soccer City in the South African capital got ready for the battle of the night. 

The match started with Robinho selfishly deciding to shoot wide when he could have easily fed the unmarked Fabiano on his left. A few minutes later, Tiote did exactly what every other free-kick taker has done in this World Cup that is, shoot the ball wide. The men from Africa kept on pressing but the Samba Boys had a water-tight defence along with Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo who rigorously patrolled the area just above the Back Four. 

A 11th minute foul by Gilberto Silva on former Arsenal team-mate Eboue gave another ‘dead-ball’ scoring opportunity to the underdogs. Didier Drogba, the African footballer of the year, took responsibility and quite uncannily sent it to the highest row in the stadium.  Four minutes later, Inter Milan keeper Julio Cesar punched away a threatening Eboue free-kick from the left side of the field. 

On the 20th minute mark, a neat dummy from Elano gave a lot of space to Maicon to send in a cross from the right flank, but it was cleared by the Ivory Coast defence-line. 

Five minutes later, a tidy exchange of passes between Kaka and Fabiano which involved a back-heel from the Sevilla striker and a pinpoint final ball from the Madrid playmaker gave Fabiano the opportunity to put Brazil ahead. He didn’t disappoint. A smashing drive past the keeper gave Brazil the lead and a control over the proceedings. 

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A fabulous Fabiano strike gave Brazil an early lead

The final stages of the first half involved decent shots from Eboue and Dindane in quick succession, but their efforts failed to impress the Brazilian keeper. On the 50th minute mark, Fabiano skipped past three defenders, lifting the ball over their heads in outrageous fashion and scored his second with his left foot. Video replays of the goal clearly showed that Fabiano used his hands at least twice to score that goal. Nevertheless, the score now was 2-0 and Brazil was cruising along. Nine minutes later, the former Manchester City man, Elano sent a screamer towards goal but it swerved wide off the mark. On the 61st minute, Kaka took quite some time inside the penalty box to send a shot towards Coast keeper Barry who punched the ball away; that shot came after a free-flowing exchange of passes in the Brazilian midfield and was easily the best move of the match. On the 62nd minute, Kaka made a driving run on the left of the field and sent in a low cross towards goal; Elano ambled into the box and finished calmly to give Brazil a three-goal lead. Sometime later, a nasty stamp by Tiote on Elano’s shin made an inevitable substitution to happen; the latter gave way to Barcelona Full Back Dani Alves. On the 72nd minute, Tiote sent a left-footed scorcher towards Julio Cesar who parried it away to safety. Ivory Coasts’ best player of the previous match, Gervinho came on in place of Dindane and looked dangerous straight-away. Eight minutes later, Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure sent in a beautiful diagonal cross in the box, Drogba made a clever run and finished home with an unruffled header to give the Africans something to cheer about. The last ten minutes of the match spoiled ‘the beautiful game’ that Brazil had for display throughout the night. The men from Africa, smothered by the superior brand of football from the South Americans, gave away with needless tackles. Kader Keita, who came on as a sub for Kalou, took center-stage, first, with a dangerous stamp on Bastos and then with the greatest piece of ‘play-acting’ seen since the great Rivaldo in 2002. Kaka, who could have been easily taken off by Dunga, had already booked himself once, and was treading on dangerous territory when he raised an arm towards an onrushing Keita. The Ivory Coast man held his face and fell on the ground, as if smashed by the knockout punch of Mohammad Ali. Kaka was given marching orders a few minutes before the final whistle was blown and Brazil had made their passage into the second round guaranteed.  

Kaka and Robinho appeal to Referee Stephane Lannoy Brazil World Cup 2010 Brazil V Ivory Coast (3-1) 20/06/10 Group G at the Soccer City Stadium FIFA World Cup 2010 Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Keita, all set for an alternative career in Hollywood?  


THT’s Player of the match: Fabiano 

The Sevilla Front-man was clinical with both his finishes and is officially ready to carry the ‘Ronaldo – El Phenomenon’ mantle going forward. Though his second goal looked fairly controversial, his touches were majestic and trademark of a traditional Brazilian target-man. 

THT’s Referee Report Card: Stephane Lannoy (France)
Grade – B


The referee was lenient throughout the game except for the red card dished out on Kaka a few minutes before the final whistle. The referee and linesman should have come up with a better decision for the same. 

THT’s Play-Acting Oscar of the Day: Kader Keita 

Enough Said Already. 



Starting Line-Up

Julio Cesar, Michel Bastos, Juan, Lucio, Maicon, Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo, Robinho (Ramires 93’), Kaka, Elano (Dani Alves 67’), Luis Fabiano
Caution: Kaka
Sent Off: Kaka
Scorers: Fabiano (25′, 50′), Elano (62′) 

Ivory Coast
Starting Line-Up

Boubacar Barry Copa, Siaka Tiene, Didier Zakora, Kolo Toure, Guy Demel, Cheikh Tote, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue(), Saloman Kalou(Kader Keita 68’), Didier Drogba, Aruna Dindane (Gervinho 54’)
Caution: Tiene, Tiote
Sent Off: None
Scorers: Drogba (80′)

6 Responses to “Brazil 3–1 Ivory Coast:Beautiful Brazilian Game Wins Over African Craft”

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  1. soccergirl says:

    How much further down the drain can modern football go? There is more acting (Keita, holding his face) than skill on display now. Acting = Cheating, FIFA must do something before it is too late.

  2. Die hard Longboarder says:

    Hey, I concur. Unfortunately giving a red or even yellow for theatrics will be very hard to enforce. There are some flagrant cases obvious to the viewer at home but it is hard for the referee to tell if a tumble is genuine or not without the benefit of instant replay. Imagine the double injury of taking a genuine tumble and then being awarded a red card for your pain. I think this is why most referees are loathe to apply even the currently prescribed yellow card, except they directly witness a violation, something which isn’t always possible with all the activity on the field.

  3. soccergirl says:

    It is a difficultt job for the referees, even seeing an action reply I sometimes cannot decide on penalties etc. What FIFA could do is to look at individals and give them match bans. Looking at the Keita escapade, he went down holding his face which was not touched and it he actually ran into Kaka.

  4. It’s the first time I have heard that in Macedonia, obits are an unusual observe. You have wonderfully written the post. I have liked your way of writing this. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. I seriously would’ve really enjoyed to observe the Germans playing in the Final. I pray they’re going to succeed vs Uruguay today