16 June, 2006

Mexicoma: Mexico 0 Angola 0

I have to admit that I find it hard to summon any real enthusiasm for this fixture, but it is crucial for both teams. Mexico must make sure of a win against the lowly Angolans, who would be delighted by a point.

The first half justifies my apathy, being a tedious affair. Mexico have the better of it but Angola handle them competently and have moments of their own. There are few notable incidents and at half time the match is goalless.

The second half starts with no further sign of action, until after 55 minutes there is chaos in the Angolan box. The ball bounces around and players flail wildly, but Angola survive the scare. Ten minutes later Omar Bravo has an opportunity to score but plays the ball weakly into Joao Ricardo's hands.

Mexico are starting to exert more influence on the game and the Angola box sees much of the play, but the final balls are largely lame efforts. Angola bring on two attacking players in an attempt to steal it, but they have no impact.

After 78 minutes Angola are reduced to ten men when Andre receives a second yellow card for deliberately handling the ball. Despite the disadvantage they have a good spell of possession for the next few minutes, but they fail to make any chances and Mexico soon take over again.

Marquez takes a punt from distance and forces Ricardo to make a save. Seconds later the ball hits the post after bouncing around the box. The final whistle blows on the dullest game of the tournament so far. Mexico have failed in what was supposed to be an easy task and the group remains open.

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