Portugal rule in Cologne

An early goal to Portugal’s Pauleta was enough for the former colonists to defeat their former colony Angola 1-0 in the second game of Group D.

    Pauleta flies in to score early in the match

    The pre-match hype surrounding this clash suggested that the history of the two countries would cause a tense atmosphere, and although there were five yellow cards handed out by Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda there was little ill feeling between the teams.

    A rousing rendition of the Portuguese national anthem A Portuguesa marked the start of the match with the FIFA World Cup Stadium filled mostly with fans of the maroon clad Europeans.

    Directly from the kick-off Pauleta was put through and hit a left foot shot across goal that missed by inches.

    In the 4th minute, an Angolan free kick was headed back into the path of Luis Figo who showed surprising speed before slipping a beautiful pass to the Paris Saint-Germain striker who made no mistake tucking a left foot shot into an open goal.

    Guess who?  It's Angolan
    midfielder Ze Kalanga

    Angola began to settle after a shaky start with two audacious attempts at bicycle kicks by star striker Akwa showing the Africans’ intent on scoring at any opportunity.

    Both teams seemed to afford each other plenty of time on the ball resulting in an attractive free flowing match with the Black Antelopes resorting to long range shots from the likes of midfielders Figueiredo and Mateus.

    In the 35th minute Cristiano Ronaldo rose to meet a Figo corner with the Manchester United midfielder’s header powering into the crossbar.

    Angola replied with stinging shot by Kuwait SC midfielder Andre late in the half, which saw Portugeuse keeper Ricardo forced into a stretching save, and the tit-for-tat shots continued with Ronaldo again going close with a smashing drive which was parried away by Angolan keeper Joao Ricardo.

    The second half was a lively affair but failed to yield any more goals, much to the disappointment of the edgy Portugual fans who were keen for a goal-fest.

    An unhappy Cristiano Ronaldo is
    substituted by Luiz Felipe Scolari

    Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, content with the 1-0 lead chose to withdraw Ronaldo from play with half an hour to go, in favour of defensive midfield substitute Costinha. 

    A petulant Ronaldo, who to be fair was having a good match, showed disappointment in being taken off, however, Scolari is not the current World Champion manager for nothing, and he was likely saving Ronaldo from getting a second yellow card while keeping him fresh for Portugal’s next match against Iran.

    Portugal fans may not have been satisfied with the 1-0 result given the amount of possession they had over Angola, however Scolari will know that a win is a win and in a tricky first up match the three points is all he would have wanted.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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