Nigeria v Ivory Coast – LiveBlog
Ivory Coast 1 (Kalou 65′)
Each team had their chances, and there was no dominance in any way, but only one team had Salomon Kalou, and it seems that was the difference today. I honestly thought a fair result would have been a draw, but the Ivory Coast did present more threatening chances, even though Nigeria’s chances were probably better as a whole. Drogba was far from his vintage self, and will want to improve on that performance next time out. Was a great game and let’s hope the rest of the tournament turns out just as well.
Final whistle. Cote d’Ivoire wins on the back of a gorgeous run by Kalou.
92′ Taiwo…..nothing counter for the Elephants. Slowing play. This looks to be it.
91′ Free kick Nigeria within range…
90′ Kalou is beating guys in the box again. The kid can just turn it on.
89′ Nigeria pressing, Yakubu shoots but that was always going to be saved.
88′ Nigeria looks confused, as though thhy don’t know where to move or to do what. That’s not how you score a goal in the final five.
87′ You know….I don’t think there’s been a card this half. Shock of the day.
86′ Yakubu, who started out this game a prominent figure, has really disappeared into the wilderness.
Back. Another sub, this one for the Elephants, and it’s Drogbacite who’s off. Coming on is Lilliputian Bakary Kone.
(I love IBM/Lenovo, but it takes an act of Jebus for it to boot up/come back from sleeping….still just listening)
Apparently Drogba took a shot. Amps the crowd.
81′ Screen’s blank. Who’s the idiot who forgot to keep moving the mouse to keep the comp from going to sleep? This guy
79′ Martins off, Makinwa on. Lazio is cursed, he’s going too do nothing.
78′ Keita shoots towards….the corner flag. Woof.
75′ Odemwingie wastes no time in shooting, throw for Nigeria.
74′ Nothing on the corner. Barry takes it easily.
73′ Russian born Odemwingie on for John Utaka.
Corner for Nigeria/ They’re dangerous on set pieces.
71′ This is all Ivory Coast at the moment. No question about it. Berti Vogts may want to switch things up a little tactically.
68′ Keita shoots wide, he was nearly taken out by Taiwo. Taiwo v Keita…what a battle.
There’s your goal of the day. Nigerian defense proved no match for the talent that is Salomon Kalou. Looks like the game may open up just a bit here.
65′ Kalou!!! What a mazy run from Kalou. Ivory Coast up 1-0.
63′ Nigeria do well in thee box, but two headers result in nada.
62′ Yakubu is taken down, and here comes Taiwo……knocks off the wall. Corner.
61′ Kader Keita just faked himself out with the ball. I won’t lie, I’m really not a fan.
60′ Martins misses the breakaway and a helluva save from Barry. End to end stuff here, great job by the keepers.
Ejide snapped that up wiith his leg.
59′ What a save by Austin Ejide. K Toure in front of the net with nary a defender in his way.
58′ Taiwo causing havoc for the IC on the defensive end here.
57′ Good attacking room the Eagles. Results in little other than an Elephant counter.
55′ Okonkwo on for Kanu.
54′ Uh oh, looks like the captain is down. Kanu being stretchered off, and he may be subbed.
52′ No word whether or not Roman Abramovich is in the stands, considering half his team is playing, but rumor on the street is that if Drogba scores Jose Mourinho is going to burst out onto the field for a blubbering manhug of a goal celebration with Didi.
51′ Mikel Obi is taking out his own teammates with Howitzers. This Nigerian team is like a heavyweight fighter – talent aside, they always have puncher’s chance with those cannons for legs dispersed throughout the squad.
50′ Kolo Toure shows John Utaka, who probably already knows, why he’s one of the best defenders in the world.
49′ Kalou finds himself some space…kid’s a talent alright.
48′ Shittu heads it juust over the corner. IC may get more chances, but the Eagles are certainly doing better with theirs.
47′ Kalou makes a run into the box….Dindane puts it over the bar. Kalou really looks like he’s gooing to get into the match heavily here.
Keita on for Gohouri for the Elephants….smart move. I think everyone saw that coming. At least the Gohouri off part. Now Eboue is back down to defense.
Halftime: It’s been a bit of a back and forth affair. While the Ivory Coast have seemingly had the better of the chances, the Eagles are creating their own by finding an inch of space and taking their chances on goal, where Boubacar Barry has looked fairly shaky. It’s hard to pick a winner, but it just seems inevitable one of the Nigerian shots is going to find the back of the net. With some subs on the horizon (Lyon’s Keita was warming up just before the whistle), the entire balance oof the game could shift after the second whistle.
45′ One minute of stoppage…
42′ Yakubua hammers one just over the post. Gohouri is not doing all that well today and seems most likely of anyone to be sent off. Maybe there’s a tactical thought to be had during half time…
40′ Martins is really posing a threat down that left hand side.
What a tackle by Joseph Yobo on Dindane. Textbook stuff.
38′ Last few minutes have been a bit of boring possession and minor fouls. The pace of the game slowed down immensely.
35′ Great pace an cross into the box by Taiwo. Wonder how long this kid can stay in the south of France.
34′ Yaya Toure is on of my favorite players in the world. Just thought I needed to say that.
33′ Whoa….Gohouri looked to have taken down Martins in the box, but OM is given a yellow for swandiving. Alright, over under for yellows today is 13.5.
32′ Drogba has been taken out of this game extremely well by the Nigerian D. Helluva job from them.
30′ Uh oh. Gohouri takes down Martins and he’s already on a yellow. I honestly think we’ll have no less than 2 red cards today. It’s like watching the NFL.
28′ Kalou’s shot blocked. The Eagles are doing really well in stifling the best chances of the Elephants.
27′ This game needs more Taye Taiwo. I could watch him take free kicks all day.
25′ Little pitter patter in midfield mostly, not amounting to much from either side right now. Utaka, one of 17 forwards playing for the Eagles right now, shoots wide.
24′ Lineups, finally:
Nigeria – 12-Austine Ejide; 2-Joseph Yobo, 5-Danny Shittu, 22-Onyekachi Apam, 3-Taye Taiwo; 10-John Obi Mikel, 14-George Olofinjana; 4-Nwankwo Kanu, 7-John Utaka, 8-Yakubu Ayegbeni, 9-Obafemi Martins.
Ivory Coast – 1-Boubacar Barry; 21-Emmanuel Eboue, 4-Kolo Toure, 12-Abdoulaye Meite, 3-Arthur Boka; 19-Yaya Toure, 5-Didier Zokora, 6-Steve Gohouri; 11-Didier Drogba, 8-Salomon Kalou, 15-Aruna Dindane
23′ If I’m an IC faan, Boubacar Barry is giving me a heart attack right now. Yeesh.
21′ Big clusterfuck in the Nigerian box. All sorts of chances for the Elephants. Kalou whiffs and Yakubu blazes past the D, wins a free kick. What an affair this is turning out to be.
19′ Utaka s tackled wel by Boka. IC counter attack. There are people going down left and right here without calls.
17′ Yaya hammers one. Uh oh…..Olofinjana with a reckless tackle. The announcer immediately thought it was Mikel Obi. Does anyone else get the impression anytime he’s on the pitch a rash tackle will be assumed to be his?
16′ Right down the pike by Drogbacite, easy save for Ejide.
Scratch thhat save, that was off the woodwork. Free kick oin the other half now for IC.
15′ Foul on Mikel Obi close to goal, here comes Taiwo with that feckin cannon………saved well. Man, talk about anticipation.
13′ I think the referee is 12 years old. That’s a plus.
12′ “Long ball forward to Drogba”…..Mourinho must be proud.
11′ Obafemi Martins getting involved finally, hammer one from distance which is saved. We won’t be wanting for any sizzlers from distance after this game is over.
10′ Drogba finally gets into the game and has his shot blocked by Shittu. A good turn, but amounted in little.
8′ Kolo Toure takes a shot from waaaaay out, swerves outside the post. Gool kick.
7′ Ivory Coast controlling play on the wings. Not getting far with it, though winning the odd foul. Nigeria’s playing very physical game.
4′ You can hear the commentators in the shoe box copying what each other says for their respective channels. I think we’re 30 minutes from a slap fight in the press box. Stay tuned.
Back and forth possession at the moment.
3′ The Elephants finally getting some possession, win a corner and…….foul. Free kick Eagles.
2′ Kanu fired one left, but Nigeria have been moving the ball well as a squad. Slow start for the Elephants.
1′ Nigeria is getting the early run of play, and there’s nothing like watching the brick wall that is Yakubu hold off defenders.
Kickoff…..and we’re off
Pregame: I couldn’t get them down fast enough, but let’s just say: You’re going to be seeing some serious attacking with these lineups. Should be a helluva game.
Alright, they’re lined up on the field and I have to say, I’m not getting good vibes for Nigeria. For our kit v kit post, while researching Nigeria, it was learned that Nigeria’s kits are so “eye-popping” that they were being kept under the watchful eye of trained assassins until the tournament came. They’re here and they’re……..not all that eye-popping. (Though I do like the font on the numbers. So that’s something.)
These press boxes must be about foot and a half wide. On my stream we can just about everybody commenting on the game. I think it adds a nice tough.
Aloha, we’re just waiting here for the Morocco – Namibia game to get over with. Looks like Morocco may have the upper hand.
Then, it’s onto the big game of the day, group stage…maybe even tournament.
The Big Picture.:. Group B. Nigeria v Ivory Coast. Eagles v Elephants. Sekondi. 17:00 kick-off, local time (17:00 GMT, 18:00 CET, 12:00 EST, 09:00 PST)
When the organizers set about scheduling the matches, they didn’t mess around whatsoever. On paper, this should be The Matchup of the group stages (with Cameroon v Egypt following close behind), and both of these teams come in not just as heavy favorites to advance, but also to make a serious run at the title. A win gives that team an early edge at the top of the pile, while a loss is nothing to shake your head at, but gives the other two games much more meaning.
Nigeria: Like their opponents, the Nigerians want for little at the top of the formation, with plenty of firepower to go around. There is no “headliner” as with the Ivorians, but look for the ridiculously pacy and athletic Obafemi Martins to attempt to continue his great ratio (13 goals in 19games). Captain Nwankwo Kanu brings Prem experience and serious height to the equation, Yakubu Aiyegbeni will bring some power (some being a gross understatement), while John Utaka and Peter Odemwingie make front line selection a task all in itself for Berti Vogts. In the midfield there is Chelsea’s Mikel Obi, a feisty player with bags upon bags of talent. The back line is headed by stalwart Joseph Yobo, who suffered a minor knock a couple days ago, but looks to be up enough to command the defense. And if you’re looking for an excitement factor, watch out for the cannon of a left leg known as Taye Taiwo. Every free kick is worth the price of admission.
Ivory Coast: Up top there’s that guy. Damn, what’s his name? Drogba? He’s good. How good is his knee? We shall see. Chelsea comrade Salomon Kalou is a talent as well, and can match Martins step for step with pace. Sanogo, A Kone, B Kone, Keita….they’re stacked. We’ll leave it at that. The midfield is no less dangerous with Barcelona lynchpin Yaya Toure ready to spray sweet passes and command the middle and Didier Zokora to do the defensive work in front of the back. Ivory Coast is getting the best of London with the Chelsea duo of Kalou and Drogba up top and Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue of Arsenal in the back. If you see a diminuitive blur emerging from the back, that’s Stuttgart’s Arthur Boka making a run, literally, for the IC national track and field team. He’s fast. IC preview here.
Team Blogs.:. Gianfranco runs the Ivory Coast Blog, where he diligently does his duties despite his distaste for all things Didier Drogba. Emmanuel is the new cat over in the Nigerian section of town.
* – If you’re new here, that Gianfranco + Drogba thing was extreme sarcasm. I think Gianfranco would have Didier’s babies.
Nigeria v Ivory Coast link.