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Brazil Top Group G After Listless 0-0 Draw Against Portugal

Five-time champions Brazil and their former colonial masters Portugal played out a disapppointing goal-less draw in a listless Group G FIFA World Cup match as both teams progressed to the next round of the tournament
brazil top group g after listless 0 0 draw...
PTI June 25, 2010 23:07 IST

Five-time champions Brazil and their former colonial masters Portugal played out a disapppointing goal-less draw in a listless Group G FIFA World Cup match as both teams progressed to the next round of the tournament in Durban on Friday . 


The much-anticipated match between the two sides, who were known for their free-flowing football, failed to produce any spark at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Brazil, who made three changes in the starting line-up from their last match, were not allowed to play their fast short-passing game by the Portuguese.

For a team known for its attacking flair and creativity, Brazil could get just a couple of openings in the entire match while Portugal looked more dangerous in the second session.

Brazil, who were without Kaka -- red carded against Ivory Coast -- and injured Elano besides Robinho, had more ball possession but they lacked finishing.

Despite the listless show, Brazil topped the group with seven points -- from two wins and a draw -- while Portugal finished runners-up with five points -- from one win and two draws.

In another Group G match played simultaneously in Nelspruit, Ivory Coast beat North Korea 3-0 but both sides crashed out of the tournament. Ivory Coast finished on four points while North Korea ended without opening their account after three losses in as many matches.

Dunga's boys though had more chances in the opening 45 minutes and Nilmar's strike in the 30th minute crashed on the left upright after hitting the Portuguese keeper.

Nine minutes later, Brazil had a golden chance to surge ahead but Luis Fabiano's free header from a high cross off a Maicon pass went just wide of the bar.

Portugal put early pressure after resumption with captain Cristiano Ronaldo in the thick of things.

At the hour mark, Portugal had a golden chance to go ahead but for Brazil keeper Julio Cesar's brilliant save.

Two minutes into the second half, Ronaldo broke down the right surging ahead of Juan but he failed to get past Lucio who made a great tackle, only to see the ball land inside the box where Raul Meireles poked towards the goal but Brazilian custodian Cesar stuck his right hand to get a crucial deflection for a corner.

In the injury time, Ramires, who came in for Julio Baptista in the 82nd minute, had a shot from outside the Portugal box and after deflection from a defender the ball looked like entering the net before keeper Eduardo made a brilliant save. PTI

 

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