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Battling Elephants Fall to Brazil at World Cup

Published on Monday 21st June 2010

Cote d'Ivoire became the latest African casualty at the 2010 FIFA World Cup when they were soundly beaten 3-1 by Brazil in their Group G encounter at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Sunday night.

A brilliant double from Luis Fabiano and a third from Elano set up the win for the South Americans, whose night was soured late in the game when playmaker Kaka received his marching orders for two yellow cards.

Cote d'Ivoire pulled a goal back through Didier Drogba, and will now likely need a big win against North Korea in their final game of the competition on June 25 to have any chance of reaching the second round.

The first half struggled to get going at times, but the Ivorians had their fair share of possession and what few chances there were.

It took a moment of magic to break the deadlock on 25 minutes, when Kaka slipped the ball to Luis Fabiano and although the Brazilian striker looked to have taken the ball too wide with his first touch, he smashed his shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle.

Later Cote d'Ivoire had an appeal for handball in the penalty area turned down, while Aruna Dindane tested Julio Cesar in the Brazil goal from a distance.

Luis Fabiano doubled the lead on 50 minutes with a goal that was both brilliant and a little fortunate. He latched onto a long hoof forward and juggled the ball into space, although in the process he appeared to use his arm on two occasions.

The misdemeanours went unnoticed though and with the Cote d'Ivoire defence at sixes and sevens, he smashed the ball past Boubacar Barry, who got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

Drogba headed wide just afterwards to signal that The Elephants were not out of this one quite yet, while Kaka stung the hands of Barry just past the one-hour mark.

But just minutes later and it was 3-0 as Kaka found space on the left-hand side and his square ball was given on a plate to Elano, who had the simplest of side-foot finishes.

The Ivorians continued to battle and a great run from Gervinho saw Yaya Toure float a ball into the box for Drogba, who beat the offside trap, to head home.

Kaka was needlessly sent off when he collected two silly yellow cards in a matter of minutes, the first justified, the second, for an alleged elbow, harsh.

By their win, Brazil have confirmed their place in the Last 16. But it looks a tall order for The Elephants from here.

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