World Cup Redux Group G: Brazil Impress, Keita Does Not, North Korea Tried

21 June 2010

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal Scores their 6th Goal. (Credit Image: © Imago/
Brazilian Delight Ruined by One Moment Of Keita Stupidity
In the one group game I was looking forward to the most, Brazil ended up taking the Ivory Coast apart. However, instead of talking about how entertaining Brazil were in the attack, two well worked goals, and a double handball that was never called, the major talking point is how the referee made a meal out of the one acting job that could have won actor of the year honors.
Luis Fabiano finally broke his scoring duck in the first half with a little luck, and a lot of grit and determination. Robinho’s diagonal ball to Fabiano was not the most accurate, but the eventual goal scorer was exceptional in flicking the ball on to Kaka to keep the play going. But the best bit of brilliance about the play was how Kaka’s 1-2 back to Fabiano fit the ball through the center backs and got the shot on goal. It would have been convenient to give up on the play, but Fabiano’s grit finally got him on the score sheet, and Brazil flying.
While Fabiano’s first goal was spectacular to watch, his second goal right after halftime was disgraceful. Sure, the keepy-uppy he did through the Ivory Coast defense was a sight to behold, but it promptly ended the second he used his arm to control the ball. If the first one wasn’t shocking enough, he then did it a second time before finishing. It was absolutely disgraceful to see the replays of Fabiano and the referee discussing it, and the referee just laughing about it.
After Brazil went 3-0 up on a great run from Kaka, and cross to Elano, the game turned into a bit of farce. The tackle on Elano should have warranted at least a yellow card, but nothing was shown. Brazil decided they were going to give up eleven minutes from time, and let Didier Drogba just run right through them. However, it wasn’t too long after that goal that the referee completely lost control.
Yes, Kaka was dumb in picking up his first yellow card, but it was deserved for the shove he gave. It was the manner in which the second yellow card occurred that should have this referee and his crew not officiate another game again. After what should have been a harmless throw in, Kader Keita, already on a yellow card, decided it was in his best interest to run into Kaka’s shoulder, and drop like he had been in a fist fight. The referee’s back was turned to him, so it was up to the fourth official to give an accurate account of the events. Based on the second yellow card Kaka received, he did not. It should have been Keita, not Kaka, that should have been shown the tunnel. Kaka should only be suspended one match for this action, as I’m sure FIFA at least has some sense to them. Keita, on the other hand, needs at least three matches for his stupidity.

Despite Portugal’s Trouncing, North Korea Should Be Given Credit For Trying to Play Football
We were all impressed by North Korea, but not with Portugal after the first set of group games in Group G. Today, we were also impressed by Portugal; as well as the way North Korea conducted themselves despite being taken to the cleaners.
To be honest, North Korea had the brighter of the opening twenty five minutes. Tae-Se’s half chance in the fourteenth only needed a touch on goal, as the keeper was caught out of position. Yong-Cho’s cross tested Eduardo four minutes later. Had Mun In-Guk been able to keep his header down, North Korea would have been in the lead.
However, once Portugal went in front midway through the first half, it wasn’t a matter of if, but by how much. When Portugal scored two goals in three minutes early in the second half, the damage limitation exercise should have happened. That just wasn’t in North Korea’s plan. Instead, they still found their chances to push forward. The only problem was there wasn’t any bite to the attack. The consequence to that was seeing Portugal put four more in before full time, one of which came from Cristiano Ronaldo.
The other fascinating thing about North Korea today was their fair play. They only committed three fouls over the course of the match, something they could have easily started to do once the game got out of hand. Sure, North Korea picked up two yellow cards in the process, but both of those came before the rout truly began. It’s something I wish we would see more of in football; it’d be a much better game for it.


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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