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2010 FIFA WORLD CUP IVORY COAST VS PORTUGAL LIVE COMMENTARY

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The only country to have won the FIFA World Cup™ outside their own continent, five-time champions Brazil take their opening bow at South Africa 2010 against Group G outsiders Korea DPR. Following their untimely quarter-final exit at Germany 2006, A Seleção Pentacampeã have their minds firmly fixed on adding another world title to their already impressive collection. The other game in the section, between Portugal and Côte d’Ivoire, has a cup-tie feel about it. Les Eléphants are still waiting on Didier Drogba, who had an operation on his injured elbow nine days ago and remains doubtful for a match that will be crucial to the final outcome in the section. Largely unimpressive in qualifying, A Selecção das Quinas enjoyed a promising build-up to the finals, winning two and drawing one of their warm-up games. And with a proven matchwinner in Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, the Portuguese are sure to pose a potent threat up front. Slovakia are warm favourites going into their game with New Zealand, who are back on the big stage for the first time in 28 years and only the second time in their history. Vladimir Weiss’s side has a solid look about it, with Liverpool central defender Martin Skrtel, Napoli playmaker Marek Hamsik and Stanislav Sestak, their top scorer in the qualifiers, making up a formidable spine. The match between Côte d’Ivoire and Portugal could feature no fewer than five Chelsea players. Blues defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira seem certain to line up in the Portuguese defence against club colleague Salomon Kalou, with Ivorian talisman Didier Drogba a potential absentee. The fifth and final member of the Chelsea contingent is impish midfielder Deco, who could tilt the match in Portugal’s favour.

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