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world cup - 2010

footballportugal

30/06/10

Portugal are out of the World Cup after they were beaten 1-0 by a superior Spain side in front of 62,955 at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town on Wednesday. Portugal's game plan was generally to stifle Spain's intricate passing and building, and to a large extent this was achieved; Portugal had kept 20 clean sheets in the preceding 25 games, and had not conceded a goal in the group phase. When Spain did break through Portugal's organised defence, notably through Torres and Villa, Eduardo was in safe mood and stopped their efforts. At the other end, Cristiano Ronaldo was once again failing to really threaten the opponents' goal, and it was only Tiago with a shot from 20 metres that managed to trouble Casillas. The hour mark was key; del Bosque brought on Llorente to replace the misfiring Torres, and Queiroz took off the useful Hugo Almeida in favour of Danny. The Spanish move worked, the Portuguese one did not, and Spain's pressure became more constant and dangerous from that moment on. On 63 minutes, Iniesta and Xavi combined to feed Davíd Villa, whose shot was parried by Eduardo, but Spain's top scorer was quickest to react and prodded the ball home. As a reaction, Portugal had nothing and the game was lost. Their frustration was reflected in the red card shown to Ricardo Costa in the final minutes of the game for use of an elbow on Capdevila.

Portugal: Eduardo, Ricardo Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão, Pepe (Mendes 72), Meireles, Tiago, Simão (Liedson 72), Cristiano Ronaldo, Hugo Almeida (Danny 58).

Spain: Casillas, Ramos, Piqué, Puyol, Capdevila, Busquets, Alonso (Marchena 90), Xavi, Iniesta, Villa (Pedro 88), Torres (Llorente 58)

26/06/10

Portugal and Brazil ground out a generally drab and often bad-tempered 0-0 draw in Durban on Friday in the last game of Group G. In what was touted to be a classic, both teams played it cagey, Brazil because they knew they were through, Portugal because they knew that barring a disaster (conceding a lot of goals against Brazil and Ivory Coast scoring a lot against North Korea), they were also through. And so it turned out, Brazil finishing top and Portugal second.

Final standings:

 

p

w

d

l

f

a

gd

pts

Brazil

3

2

1

0

5

2

+3

7

Portugal

3

1

2

0

7

0

+7

5

Ivory Coast

3

1

1

1

4

3

+1

4

North Korea

3

0

0

3

1

12

-11

0


Both sides were feeling each other out from the start, and indeed the first real chance came on the half hour, Nilmar popping up at the back post to force a good save from Eduardo, who pushed the ball against the woodwork. A minute later, Portugal claimed a penalty for a push by Gilberto Silva on Tiago, but the referee saw a dive and booked the Portuguese midfielder. On 39, Maicon crossed for Luís Fabiano to head against the post. Portugal's first shot on target came from Cristiano Ronaldo on 41 minutes (...) but Júlio César held it easily.

In the second half, Portugal's main threat came from Cristiano Ronaldo, but he was once again proving a little egotistical in his play, especially when it came to free-kicks. However, he was involved on the hour in Portugal's best chance, his run down the right forcing a defective interception from Lúcio that fell at the back post for Raúl Meireles , who allowed Júlio César to parry his weak shot. In added time, Benfica's Ramires shot from outside the area, the ball was deflected off Bruno Alves and Eduardo had to dive backwards to tip the ball round the post for the best save of the game. It was Portugal's 26th game since their disastrous 2-6 defeat to Brazil in a friendly; in 22 of those games, Portugal have not conceded a goal.

Portugal: Eduardo, Ricardo Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão, Pepe (Pedro Mendes 64), Raul Meireles (Miguel Veloso 84), Tiago, Duda (Simão 54), Danny, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Brazil: Júlio César, Maicon, Lúcio, Juan, Michel Bastos, Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo (Josué 44), Daniel Alves, Júlio Baptista (Ramires 82), Luis Fabiano (Grafite 85), Nilmar.

Portugal will face Spain (who topped Group H) in Capetown on Tuesday. Brazil take on Chile on Monday.

22/06/10

Portugal put in a near-perfect performance, especially in the second half, to crush North Korea 7-0 in Capetown on Monday; it was Portugal's biggest ever win in the final phases of the World Cup.

After a weak display against Ivory Coast in the first Group G game (0-0), Portugal were looking to win all three points against what was expected to be an ultra-defensive Korean side, who had stood up to the mighty Brazil in their first game. Carlos Queiroz made four changes from the first game: in came Miguel for Paulo Ferreira at right back, Tiago for Deco (injured) in central midfield, Simão for Danny wide and Hugo Almeida for Liedson. and Portugal started brightly; on seven minutes, a Simão corner was headed against the post by Ricardo Carvalho, but Korea were also getting close, notably through their star player Jong Tae Se. Then on 29 minutes, Queiroz and ten million Portuguese at home, and 50,000 in the Green Point Stadium, breathed a sigh of relief. After difficulties in scoring in recent games, Tiago opened up the Korean defence with a devastating through ball which Raul Meireles latched onto to score.

It had been a good half, but Queiroz went in at half time knowing that more goals were needed to distance Portugal from Ivory Coast in the probable contest for second place in the group. He could not in his wildest dreams have expected what came next. Seven minutes into the half, Almeida and Meireles combined on the edge of the box before the latter set up Simão , running in from the right. Three minutes later, Tiago put through Fábio Coentrão on the left with another splendid pass, and the full back's cross was met by Almeida for a simple header. Another four minutes and an improved Cristiano Ronaldo loped down the left and cut the ball back for Tiago to get a deserved goal. On 71 minutes, Ronaldo, who hadn't scored for the Selecção since February of last year, unleashed a terrific shot from 25 metres that pinged off the bar. Ten minutes from time, Ri Kwan Chong failed to get hold of a Duda cross and Liedson was lurking to volley home. Then four minutes from time, Ronaldo did score after a little unintentional juggling on the back of his neck in front of goal. To wrap it all up, unofficial Man of the Match Tiago headed home his second from a cross by Miguel Veloso.

An historic victory which, barring a disaster on the last day of the group phase (Portugal meet Brazil), means that Portugal are virtually through to the last 16.

Portugal: Eduardo, Miguel, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão, Tiago, Pedro Mendes, Raul Meireles (Miguel Veloso 70), Simão (Duda 74), Cristano Ronaldo, Hugo Almeida (Liedson 77)

North Korea: Ri Myong Guk, Cha Jong Hyok (Nam Song Chol 75), Pak Chol Jin, Ri Jun Il, Ri Kwang Chon, Ji Yun Nam, An Yong Hak, Mun In Guk (Kum Il Kim 59), Pak Nam Chol (Yong Jun Kim 59), Hong Yong Jo, Jong Tae Se.

Cristiano Ronaldo was named Man of the Match by FIFA, but the captain gave the award to Tiago for his brilliant display.

21/06/10

Key midfielder Deco has been declared unfit with a hip injury ahead of Portugal's vital second game in Group G against North Korea on Monday. Atlético Madrid's Tiago is likely to replace him.

16/06/10

The Selecção put in a globally disappointing performance on Tuesday and could manage only a 0-0 draw with Ivory Coast in World Cup Group G. Portugal's play was marked by disjointed attacking play, too many missed passes and a general lack of organisation, although the defence came out of it relatively well. The nearest Portugal came to scoring was a 30-metre shot from official Man-of-the-Match Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half that pinged off the left-hand post. Ivory Coast were the better team, with much more fluid and thoughtful pressure, but Portugal's sturdy defence kept them at bay.

Portugal: Eduardo, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão, Pedro Mendes, Raul Meireles (Ruben Amorim 85), Deco (Tiago 62), Cristiano Ronaldo, Danny (Simão 55), Liedson.

Ivory Coast: Boubacar Barry, Guy Demel, Kolo Touré, Didier Zokora, Siaka Tiéne, Yaya Touré, Isamarel Tiote, Emmanuel Eboué (Romaric 89), Salomon Kalou (Didier Drogba 66), Gervinho (Kader Keita 82), Aruna Didane.

Deco was substituted on the hour (Tiago) and walked unhappily straight to the changing room. "Why was I substituted? You'll have to ask the coach. I felt fine. First he asked me to play on the right, something I've never done in my career because I'm not a wide player. And then he took me off."

Coach Carlos Queiroz said: "What Ivory Coast wanted was for us to take the initiative and take risks in attack, but we played intelligently in containment and with the necessary defensive balance to prevent the Ivory Coast players from taking advantage of any errors. In the second game, the teams have to take more risks. We have to win that second game." [21 June against North Korea]. Queiroz criticised the fact tthat Didier Drogba was allowed to player with his arm in a cast.

15/06/10

Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign in Port Elizabeth at 15.00 Portuguese time on Tuesday. Their opponents, Ivory Coast, are expected to be weakened by the absence of star player Didier Drogba through injury, although coach Sven Goran Eriksson will leave it to the last minute to decide whether he plays or not. It will be Portugal's 20th game in World Cup finals. Portugal's main doubts should be whether Fábio Coentrão gets the nod at left back ahead of the more experienced Duda, and whether Danny , impressive in recent friendlies, gets a start.

Possible line-ups (maisfutebol):

Portugal: Eduardo, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão, Pedro Mendes, Raul Meireles, Deco, Simão, Liedson, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ivory Coast: Barry, Demel, Kolo Touré, Zokora, Eboué, Romaric, Tiote, Yaya Touré, Kalou, Gervinho, Dindane

Nani has gone back on the statement he made on arriving at Lisbon airport on Sunday (see below). He said that he did not mean that he would be able to play in a week, but that he would be fit enough to lead a normal life in a week.

14/06/10

Nani has arrived back in Lisbon after dropping out of the World Cup squad, supposedly through injury. Asked by reporters about the injury, Nani said "I'll be all right in a week", further fueling doubts as to the real reason for his coming home.

09/06/10

Winger Nani is out of the World Cup, ostensibly due to a shoulder injury picked up in training before the Selecção flew out. The Manchester United player appeared to be training normally in South Africa, raising suspicions that the 'injury' story is a smokescreen for something more sinister that happened in the training camp.

08/06/10

Portugal won their third and final warm-up game before the World Cup proper begins, beating Mozambique 3-0 in front of 30,000 at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Danny was the star of the show, scoring a goal and making one for Hugo Almeida. Danny's goal on 52 minutes, finishing off neatly after being put through by Deco, was Portugal's 800th in their 500th international. On 83 minutes, Hugo Almeida got his second, tapping in after Lama was unable to hold onto a Cristiano Ronaldo shot.

Portugal: Eduardo, Miguel, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão, Pedro Mendes (Pepe 76), Raul Meireles (Tiago 60), Deco (Miguel Veloso 60), Danny (Duda 86), Simão (Cristiano Ronaldo 63), Liedson (Hugo Almeida 46).

Mozambique: Lama, Campira (Zainadine Júnior 85), Mexer, Fanuel, Paíto, Hagy (Jumisse 69), Simão, Genito (Josima 78), Pelengue, Fumo (Armando Sá 60), Gerry (Tony 88).

28/05/10

Portugal improved greatly on their feeble draw against Cape Verde to beat fellow World Cup finalists Cameroon 3-1, their last preparation game on Portuguese soil before heading for South Africa. The key moments in the game came around the 32-minute mark: fed by Simão, Raul Meireles clipped home the opening goal from the edge of the box; in the next minute Eto'o saw a yellow for protests and another for a nasty challenge on Duda. Portugal's task was made easier against a team of ten men that did not include their best player. Early in the second half, Raul Meireles got his second with a cross from the left that found its way into the net. Portugal were coasting but let Cameroon back into the game on 69 minutes, Webó heading in an Ekoto cross. It was left to Nani , with an immaculate chip after a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo, to restore the breathing space. By the end, the crowd in that Complexo Desportivo da Covilhã were giving the team olés. The Selecção will leave Portugal on a high.

Portugal: Eduardo, Paulo Ferreira (Miguel 46), Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves (Rolando 62), Duda (Fábio Coentrão 62), Pedro Mendes (Ricardo Costa 72), Raul Meireles, Deco, Simão (Nani 46), Cristiano Ronaldo, Liedson (Danny 46).

Camaroon: Kameni, Mandjeck, Mbia, Nkoulou, Assou-Ekkoto, Makoun (Bong 78), Alexandre Song (Webo 62), Eyong, Eto'o, Choupo-Moting (Idrissou 62), Emana (Nguemo 62).

25/05/10

Portugal drew their first preparation game before the World Cup with a performance in Covilhã that impressed no one. Cape Verde are hardly world giants, but they were organised enough to comfortably keep out a lacklustre Portugal attack and leave a final result of 0-0. The only bright points were arguably the performances of Fábio Coentrão and Nani. Bad news was an injury to midfielder Tiago, but he should recover in time for the World Cup proper.

Portugal: Eduardo, Paulo Ferreira (Miguel 68), Ricardo Carvalho (Ricardo Costa 46), Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão, Pedro Mendes (Tiago 57), Miguel Veloso (Raul Meireles 46), Deco (Danny 57), Nani, Liedson (Hugo Almeida 46), Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cabo Verde: Fock, Stopira, Varela, Ricardo, Nando, Marco Soares, Dário, Babanco (Heldon 58), Valter Borges (Vitor Moreno 68), Lito (Tony Varela 73), Dady (Semedo 25; Zé Luís 93).

09/02/10

FIFA announced on Monday that the Portugal v Brazil game in the group stage of the World Cup in South Africa has already sold out; it is one of 11 games in the same situation.

05/12/09

Portugal will play Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea in the group stage of the World Cup next summer. Portugal have never played Ivory Coast, but they played Brazil and North Korea in the 1966 World Cup in England. They beat Brazil 3-1 and North Korea 5-3, after being 0-3 down. The Selecção played Brazil in a friendly in November 2008 and lost 2-6.

The groupings are:

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia

Group E: Holland, Japan, Cameroon, Denmark

Group F: Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Honduras, Chile, Switzerland

Portugal will play Ivory Coast first and finish with Brazil. All of Portugal's group games will be played at sea level.

Group Stage

June 15 1500: Ivory Coast v Portugal (Port Elizabeth)

Match 30, June 21 1230: Portugal v North Korea (Cape Town)

Match 45, June 25 1500: Portugal v Brazil (Durban)

If Portugal get through the group stage, they could meet Spain in the last 16.

Last 16

Match 49, June 26 1500: Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B (Port Elizabeth)

Match 50, June 26 1930: Winner Group C v Runner-up Group D (Rustenburg)

Match 51, June 27 1500: Winner Group D v Runner-up Group C (Bloemfontein)

Match 52, June 27 1930: Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A (Soccer City, Johannesburg)

Match 53, June 28 1500: Winner Group E v Runner-up Group F (Durban)

Match 54, June 28 1930: Winner Group G v Runner-up Group H (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)

Match 55, June 29 1500: Winner Group F v Runner-up Group E (Pretoria)

Match 56, June 29 1930: Winner Group H v Runner-up Group G (Cape Town)

Quarter-Finals

Match 57, July 2 1500: Winner of Match 53 v Winner of Match 54 (Port Elizabeth)

Match 58, July 2 1930: Winner of Match 49 v Winner of Match 50 (Soccer City, Johannesburg)

Match 59, July 3 1500: Winner of Match 52 v Winner of Match 51 (Cape Town)

Match 60, July 3 1930: Winner of Match 55 v Winner of Winner of Match 56 (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)

Semi-Finals

Match 61, July 6 1930: Winner Match 58 v Winner Match 57 (Cape Town)

Match 62, July 7 1930: Winner Match 59 v Winner Match 60 (Durban)

Third-Place Play-Off

Match 63, July 10 1930: Loser Match 61 v Loser Match 62 (Port Elizabeth)

Final

Match 64, July 11 1930: Winner Match 61 v Winner Match 62 (Soccer City, Johannesburg)

The Portuguese squad will stay in the province of Gauteng during the Finals. Details of exactly where will be issued by the Portuguese Football Federation in due course.

Reactions to the draw:

Carlos Queiroz: "As we were left to almost last, the anxiety was growing a bit. But naturally, we accept what fate brings and now we have to prepare ourselves well for the first game because we have a good chance to win. That's the attitude and approach we're going to have. The good thing about this draw is that 16 teams are going to be eliminated, and so we have a chance to carry on to the end … Before the draw, I was with Eusébio and told him that it was a waste of time because the draw was already decided: we were going to play Brazil, North Korea and then we had to choose another because Hungary aren't here [an allusion to the 1966 group stage] … It's special to meet Brazil. After that friendly [2-6 in November 2008] we played, which was a bit of a bad memory for us, to play this game against Brazil, in the third group game, could be something special for us and for Brazil, too."

Cristiano Ronaldo: "It's a very complicated group – it's going to be very difficult. But it doesn't matter, we're not going to complain. I'm not very happy, but that's the way it goes."

Liedson: "I'm happy to have Brazil in this phase, and I don't think it's the 'group of death'. It's pretty accessible; we have every chance of going through, but of course we have to concentrate because we know that in the World Cup, all the games are difficult, with not many goals … It's an advantage that we have to meet Brazil only in the last game, but we have to concentrate in all of them, and we know that regardless of the group we got, it was going to be difficult … I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I just have to do my job, and I'm grateful to the Selecção and to the country for everything I've achieved and the affection I've received. I hope to pay it back with my work."

João Moutinho: "Any group was going to be difficult. We're aware of the problems and the difficulties we're going to have, but we know our worth and we believe in victory … The first game against Ivory Coast is going to be extremely difficult."

Hugo Almeida: "Playing Brazil is always complicated. Our group is certainly one of the most difficult in the competition. Fortunately, we don't have to play them in the first game, but anyway, anyone who wants to win can't choose their opponents."

Rui Patrício: "Brazil have an excellent team and the important thing is that we show what we're worth on the pitch. I think that in this group, there are no 'stronger' teams, and what matters is winning … It would be good if after the first two games, Portugal were already qualified. now the important thing is to think game by game and start by winning the first one, which is very important."

Details of Portugal's group opponents:

Brazil:
World Cup participations:
19:
1930, 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010

Best results:
Winners in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002

FIFA ranking: 2nd

Coach: Dunga

Top scorer in qualifying: Luis Fabiano: 9 goals

Ivory Coast:
World Cup participations:
2:

2006 and 2010

Best result:
Group stage

FIFA ranking: 16th

Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic (BIH)

Top scorer in qualifying: Didier Drogba: 6 goals

North Korea
World Cup participations:
2:
1966 and 2010

Best result:
Quarter-Finals in 1966

FIFA ranking: 84th

Coach: Kim Jong-hun

Top scorer in qualifying: Jong Chol-min and Hong Yong-jo: 4 goals

 

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