I look forward to days like this. I can honestly say “I only came to see Eboue”. Match Day 5 saw Emmanuel Eboue’s Ivory Coast/Cote d’Ivoire men in orange take on the diving Ronaldo’s of Portugal in yet another goalless draw. Seriously, Cote d’Ivoire and Portugal should not go without a goal between them. In fact, I share Eboue’s pain as illustrated below. I literally watched the match while holding my ankle and groaning in pain. Not because my ankle hurt, but simply because the meager displays of football right now in South Africa makes me womble around on the floor in anguish. So, insert my body for Eboue’s and that’s what I looked like this morning during the early matches.
Please, some better football lads. It’s not too much to ask…
Eboue And Cote d’Ivoire Grind Out Draw Against Portugal
When I first set about to write this post, I set up all the formatting and whatnot for convenience sake so all I had to do was write the actual blog after watching the match. I wrote a preliminary headline and gave this passage a title which read “Eboue Hat Trick Stuns Football World!”. Alas, it was not to be for Emmanuel Eboue and The Elephants today as they took on Portugal in the second leg of Match Day 5. Eboue got the start at right attacking midfield, and although Cote d’Ivoire were without talismanic frontman Didier Drogba until midway through the second half, they still fielded a very dangerous lineup. With relatively few touches coming to the Arsenal man through the first 15 minutes or so, Emmanuel did ask a few questions of the Portuguese defense as the Ivorians gained confidence in the possession. Unfortunately, on 21 minutes the referee decided some good-natured jawing and posturing between Ronaldo and Guy Demel deserved yellows. With precedent seemingly set for no monkey business, Eboue gathered the ball at midfield and began a patented swashbuckling run into the middle but was rudely cut down by Pedro Mendes with a studs-on-ankle challenge that saw no yellow given. The result of the challenge saw Eboue as pictured above – on the pitch and briefly in need of the physio. On 37 minutes Eboue made a promising run into the box, with a hopeful through ball coming from Yaya Toure. With the pass a bit leading and the Portuguese keeper sharp, the ball was collected harmlessly by the netminder. Though the second half saw a bit more spark from Portugal, neither side was particularly inspiring. While having the majority of possession, Cote d’Ivoire’s attack kept crashing on the rocks of the Portuguese midfield and Eboue’s chances at meaningful touches were severely limited as the match progressed. The 89th minute saw Arsenal’s action man shuffling off for substitution. A relatively quite night for our Emmanuel.
* * *
Check out all the latest on Andy’s travels around Europe and South Africa with Football Nomad! Exclusive commentary, photos and video as Andy and Patrick soak in the vibe, supporters and culture during the World Cup.
* * *
Have your say on Arsenal’s participation in the World Cup by leaving a comment.