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Halftime report: Chess, bloody hell! (Ivory Coast v. Portugal) June 15, 2010

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in World Cup 2010.
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“Dreadfully negative performance from the Portuguese so far, frankly,” ESPN’s Ian Darke said as the whistle blew for halftime just now.

I mean, not really, though. It’s not really Portugal’s fault the Ivory Coast is marking up so well in its own half. It’s two teams in extremely similar systems and this is what happens. Portugal’s not passing the ball backward because Carlos Queiroz doesn’t like to score goals. Portugal’s passing the ball backward because there simply isn’t a forward pass open. It’s kind of funny to see Cristiano Ronaldo’s pocket picked every time he drops deep to try and get the ball, though, because of how badly he takes it.

Darke also called it “a chess match,” to which his sidekick Efan Ekoku responded that it may be the best attended chess match ever. I’m pretty much fine with that. I like chess.

A thought: Slovakia’s goal against New Zealand was completely offside. If the referee had gotten that one right, the Kiwis would be on top of the group. Crazy.

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