New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia
Winston Reid (90′) Robert Vittek (50′)
The pattern of timid matches continued with neither team dominating. Slovakia showed glimmers of better technic but Hamsik and others were rarely dangerous. The game didn’t change much as it went on but Vittek managed to score on one of the few real forays into any of the penalty boxes. New Zealand came alive, slightly, towards the end and Slovakia didn’t react much and as happens often were punished with a the late goal by the young New Zealand player.
Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal
Drogba made only the substitutes bench and Simao couldn’t start due to a training knock. Cristiano Ronaldo showed glimpses of his power and hit the post early on. The teams seemed to cancel each other out with a few probing forays. Ivory Coast held a slight advantage throughout, however. The Africans started the second well but Portugal responded well soon after as well. Drogba came on in the 65th minute for Kalou, sporting the FIFA approved elbow cast. He was greeted with some of the loudest roars of the this World Cup. Among the notable incidents were Drogba and Keita, another substitute, getting close in added time amid several players suffering cramps.
Brazil 2-1 North Korea
Maicon (55′) Elano (72′) Ji Yun-Nam (89′)
This match will be most remembered for the defensive resistance and even few half chances that the North Korean unknowns created, especially by the player dubbed the Asian Rooney, Jong Tae-Se. Brazil seemed to be headed for a historic failure. But early in the second half Maicon rescued Brazil with a goal from the tightest angle possible, one that some may claim was only a cross. Instead the ball made its way between the Korean goalie, Ri Myong-Guk, and the near post. Minutes later a classic through pass from Robinho found its way on the foot of Elano who shot past the goalie. As the game was ending with a sigh of relief for the Brazilians Ji Yun-Nam ran through the Brazilian defense and scored a nice goal. Brazil have a lot to think about and need to show more variety offensively, but can they?