Ivory Coast and Portugal fail to excite in damp squib
Group G began with somewhat of a false start as Ivory Coast and Portugal laboured to a forgettable 0-0 draw.
While both sides defended and kept possession ably, this game will not have alarmed group rivals Brazil, who are expected to qualify for the second round as group winners.
Much anticipated as effectively a play-off for second place in Group G, this potentially explosive tie was in fact a damp squib of few chances.
In a tight first half, Cristiano Ronaldo came closest to breaking the deadlock when his long range shot thundered off the post.
Ivory Coast were solid enough in defence and midfield, but their forays into the Portuguese half yielded no rewards.
The highlight for the Ivory Coast was the appearance of Didier Drogba, who came on as a second half substitute having recovered remarkably quickly from a broken arm.
Even the towering Chelsea striker could not find a way past Portugal’s stubborn defence, though, as the game faded to an underwhelming conclusion.
Group G remains very competitive, and both sides will be interested spectators when Brazil face North Korea tonight at 7.30pm.