Postmortem: A Scoreless Draw From Two Great Teams : Show Me Your Cleats! - World Cup 2010 Blog There was so much hype going into the Brazil vs. Portugal match, but what should have been a show-down devolved into a downer.
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Postmortem: A Scoreless Draw From Two Great Teams

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo runs off the field with a Brazil jersey after his team's 0-0 draw with Brazil. AP hide caption

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The Group G, 'group of death' match-up between Colonizer and Colonized was not as exciting as I had hoped for.  Portugal and Brazil are long-time rivals, let's forget history-history for a moment and talk soccer history.  They've played 18 times and Portugal has only won four of those games.

So, Brazil was the obvious favorite going in. Fans on both sides were anticipating lots of intense play and goals to boot. But, alas, the game ended in what soccer-haters around the world point to as a flaw in the sport: A SCORELESS DRAW.

Both teams will move on to the group of 16: Brazil as the winners of Group G and the Portuguese, as runners up.

Brazil was definitley controlling the game during the first half, great, clean passing, they were playing open and wide, waiting patiently for the right moment to strike.  This was in contrast to the Portuguese, who looked a bit frantic, consistently botching up passes and passing to the center of the field where there were a number of Brazilian defenders waiting to counter.

Thirty minutes into the match was the most exciting part of this goalless game. Brazil's Nilmar with a great shot on goal deflected by Portugal's keeper, the ball was then recovered quickly by Portugal and taken all the way down the pitch. It was four Portuguese players against three Brazilian defenders, but the Portuguese offense unraveled at the last moment and Portuguese mid-fielder Tiago took a dramatic dive when he should have taken a shot.  Tsk. Tsk.

There were a number of shots on goal from both teams, but Portugal's defense was strong against Brazil's Fabiano and Nilmar and Cristiano Ronaldo's long shots on goal were heavy on ego and light on technique.

The game was in third gear, rather than over-drive, for most of the second half.  Brazil was not passing well and let Portugal take advantage of a few break-away moments.  It wasn't until 91 minutes in that the game looked like it might end in a thrilling victory for Brazil.  A powerful shot from Brazil, deflected by Portugal and barrelling straight into the goal was saved by Portuguese goalkeeper Eduardo dos Reis Carvalho.

Neither side showed me their cleats and maybe that's because neither side needed to win to move on.  You know it's bad when the most exciting part of a game is when it's over and Cristiano Ronaldo takes off his jersey! (Hehe)