Brazil top Group G after listless draw against Portugal


Five-time champions Brazil and their former colonial masters Portugal played out a disapppointing goalless draw in a listless Group G FIFA World Cup match as both teams progressed to the next round of the tournament in Durban on Friday.

The much-anticipated match between the two sides, who were known for their free-flowing football, failed to produce any spark at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Brazil, who made three changes in the starting line-up from their last match, were not allowed to play their fast short-passing game by the Portuguese.

For a team known for its attacking flair and creativity, Brazil could get just a couple of openings in the entire match while Portugal looked more dangerous in the second session.

Image: Brazil's Maicon (L) and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (C) react to referee Benito Archindia of Mexico

Portugal, Brazil lacked finishing

Brazil, who were without Kaka -- red carded against Ivory Coast -- and injured Elano besides Robinho, had more ball possession but they lacked finishing.

Despite the listless show, Brazil topped the group with seven points -- from two wins and a draw -- while Portugal finished runners-up with five points -- from one win and two draws.

At the hour mark, Portugal had a golden chance to go ahead but for Brazil keeper Julio Cesar's brilliant save.

Two minutes into the second half, Ronaldo broke down the right surging ahead of Juan but he failed to get past Lucio who made a great tackle, only to see the ball land inside the box where Raul Meireles poked towards the goal but Brazilian custodian Cesar stuck his right hand to get a crucial deflection for a corner.

Image: Portugal's Raul Meireles sits on the pitch after his effort goes off target as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar lies injured at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban