Cote d'Ivoire 0-0 Portugal

Portugal and Cote d'Ivoire both drew a blank as South Africa 2010's "Group of Death" failed to come to life.

Cote d'Ivoire v Portugal

The two teams cancelled each other out in a dull encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The stalemate will throw down the advantage to Korea DPR and Brazil who make up the other nations in Group G.

There was no place in the Cote d'Ivoire starting line-up for Didier Drogba, despite the Chelsea striker being granted permission to play with a cast on his broken arm.

The 32-year-old was expected to lead the the Elephants' charge but instead that duty fell to former Portsmouth forward Aruna Dindane, who played as the lone striker.

There were no surprises in Portugal's starting XI with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo in his familiar position on the right of a three-man attack.

And it was the £80million man who had the first shot at goal inside the 11th minute with a measured effort from 20 yards that struck the left-hand post.

Ronaldo's effort seemed to spark Cote d'Ivoire into life, with Cheick Tiote and Siaka Tiene both having chances to break the deadlock.

Indeed, Cote d'Ivoire manager Sven-Goran Eriksson had plenty to be pleased with after the opening 45 minutes as his side were able to nullify Portugal's attacking threat.

It might not have made for the most entertaining of matches but Eriksson's game plan was clearly working.

It could have got better for Cote d'Ivoire too had Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou made more of his chance in the 52nd minute.

The 24-year-old snapped at his effort and fired straight at Eduardo, however, who was grateful to gather the ball.

It proved to be Kalou's last contribution to the match as he was replaced in the 66th minute by his Chelsea team-mate Drogba.

The sight of the iconic forward entering the field drew a large blast on the vuvuzelas of the neutral spectators in the stands, who had little to cheer about until that point.

His arrival did bring another dimension to the African nation's attacking options, while Abdelkader Keita proved to be a real handful for the Portuguese in the latter stages.

Eriksson will no doubt be more pleased with a point that his opposite number Carlos Queiroz, with Portugal facing an unknown quantity in Korea DPR on Monday.

Cote d'Ivoire (4-1-4-1): Barry; Demel, K.Toure, Zokora, Tiene; Y.Toure; Gervinho (Keita 82), Eboue (Romaric 89), Tiote, Kalou (Drogba 66); Dindane. Subs (not used): Zogbo, Yeboah, Benjamin, Gohouri, Bamba, Gosso, Kone, Doumbia.

Portugal (4-3-3): Eduardo; Ferreira, Bruno Alves, Carvalho, Coentrao; Deco (Tiago 62), Mendes, Meireles (Ruben Amorim 86); Ronaldo, Liedson, Danny (Simao 55). Subs (not used): Beto, Fernandes, Rolando, Miguel, Pepe, Ricardo Costa, Duda, Veloso, Hugo Almeida.

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