World Cup Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, June 20, 2010
(All times Eastern)
Brazil (1-0-0) vs. Ivory Coast (0-0-1), 2:30 p.m.
Johannesburg, South Africa (Sports Network) - The schedule gets no easier for
the Ivory Coast as it gets ready to face Brazil in its second Group G match at
Soccer City on Sunday in the FIFA World Cup.
A 0-0 draw against Portugal in the opening game has left the Ivorians with one
point, while Brazil survived a surprisingly tough match with North Korea to
win 2-1, leaving it on top of the group.
"Every team has to play efficiently, in attack and in defense," said Brazil
manager Dunga. "Overall we played well, especially in the second half, because
in the first half we didn't get our game together and didn't manage to pass
the ball quickly."
Brazil's first-half performance was less than impressive, but it did enough
in the second half to win and can now take control of the group with another
victory on Sunday.
There were few chances for either side in the Ivory Coast's game with
Portugal, but manager Sven-Goran Eriksson believes that his Ivory Coast team
played well enough to take all three points.
"It was a very tense match, but honestly I think that if one team was going to
win it, it should have been us as we had more chances," said Eriksson. "I'm
satisfied with our performance, our discipline and our organization throughout
the 90 minutes. I would have preferred to take three points, but Portugal are
a great team and holding them to a draw is satisfying in itself."
Much of the focus leading up to the opening game was on star striker Didier
Drogba, whose status was uncertain because of a broken arm suffered on June 4.
"As for Drogba, he told me that he'd prefer to stay on the bench, but that if
I needed him I could count on him," Eriksson said. "That's exactly what I
Drogba didn't start the game but he entered it in the 66th minute, although
his impact was minimal.
It has yet to be determined how much Drogba will play against Brazil, but if
the African side wants to take anything from this game, they need to be better
06/19 13:31:04 ET