Brazil was the better team today and judging from their overall World Cup record, it should be no surprise that they were winners once again. In fact Didier Drogba’s goal off of a beautiful cross was the first ever by any African nation against the World Cup giants. But that would be the only excitement mustered by Les Elephantes and the best African team will find themselves in tough position needing a win against North Korea next week. Since Portugal hasn’t played the Asian squad yet there is no word on what exactly the Africans will need to do to advance, but a two goal deficit will be tough to rebound from and the squad’s second round hopes became a less then likely dream with the loss today.
Two things happened in the match once again that had one Yank crying for instant replay. The first incident came early in the second half when Luis Fabiano scored a brilliant goal off of a circus like volley that embarrassed at least two or three Les Elephantes defenders. The goal was amazing at first sight, but in slow motion it became quite clear that the Sevilla forward had made illegal contact with the ball twice before it was placed into the back of the net. The lack of a hand ball call put the Brazilians in comfortable position and the rest of the match they cruised to an easy victory.
The second call that was in fact terrible came late in the match when Kaka threw an arm at a passing Les Elephantes player. It was stupid to do and had nothing to at all to do with the play, but Kader Keita’s acting ability was superb and the African midfielder pretended that #10 had broken his nose. After rolling around on the ground in fake agony a minor fight broke out between the two teams as Kaka tried to defend himself. What made the play flat out silly was the referee (who obviously didn’t see the play) rewarded Kaka with a second yellow card.
The lack of Kaka will not hurt the squad next match since they have already advanced, but it was yet another unfortunate example of a referee siding with an undeserving actor after not seeing the play. The call never should have been made because in reality the ref never saw the incident transpire. The ref was directly influenced from the potential fight at hand and not by what actually happened. Although Kaka should have avoided the contact (considering he already had a yellow card) he shouldn’t have been thrown out of the match and only was because a player faked an injury and ignited his side with anger.
photo credit: yabokz