Brazil vs Portugal World Cup 2010 ends in tie; both advance

Brazil vs Portugal World Cup 2010 was the most anticipated match yet. It couldn't match the hype, as the world's No. 1 and No. 3 teams looked lackluster on the field.

Schalk van Zuydam/AP
Brazil vs Portugal World Cup 2010 ended 0-0, allowing both teams to continue to the next round of the World Cup. Portugal's Daniel Alves, center foreground, misses a scoring opportunity against Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar, right, during the World Cup group G soccer match between Portugal and Brazil at the stadium in Durban, South Africa, on June 25.

Brazil vs Portugal World Cup 2010 was the first game to sell out, quickly earning a billing as the most anticipated tussle of the first round.

It came nowhere near matching hype.

After a hard-fought but insipid 0-0 draw, both teams will be awarded one point and a place in the second round. But neither will be satisfied with their performance.

That is especially true of No. 1-ranked Brazil, who looked startlingly impotent without the missing Kaka, Elano, and Robinho.

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Brazil Coach Dunga put in Julio Batista, Dani Alves, and Nilmar to replace them. But they couldn't provide what was missing. Nilmar, especially, will be kicking himself for not putting away an angled shot on the half hour mark.

Brazil's goalkeeper was even threatened for the first time of this World Cup. Defender Lucio was not his usual majestic self – although he did make two timely tackles – and his defensive partner Juan was lucky not to be sent off for cynically cutting out a through pass with his hand. Up front, Luís Fabiano looked out of rhythm.

No. 3-ranked Portugal, meanwhile, showed only glimpses of the skills that destroyed North Korea 7-0 earlier this week. Cristiano Ronaldo made some incisive runs in the second period but he rarely caused real danger. All too often, strikers from both sides could not make their last touch count.

Instead, the danger in this game came from fouls, all 29 of them.

It was a rough and sometimes bad-tempered game that threatened to boil over into something worse.

Seven players were cautioned with yellow cards, four from Portugal and three from Brazil, all of them in the first half.

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World Cup 101:

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