Didier Drogba had his chance.
A shot to play the role of hero came and went from seven yards away -- albeit at a tough angle and with pressure from a Portuguese defender. The Ivory Coast striker made a run into the box and took a touch, but couldn't manage a shot on goal in the final minutes in a 0-0 draw today in the first of two Group of Death matches.
Drogba, who broke his elbow June 4, entered the game in the 66th minute for Salomon Kalou. The vuvuzelas reached a higher pitch when he stepped onto the field with a cast on his right arm, as South Africa's fan base stood behind arguably the most popular player on its continent.
PHOTOS: 2010 World Cup
Drogba's counterpart (on the field and nearly naked on the cover of Vanity Fair) Cristiano Ronaldo, continued his scoring woes for Portugal after not scoring once during qualifying. He buzzed a shot off the post from 30 yards out in the 11th minute. Ronaldo, one of the most gifted players on the planet, hasn't scored for Portugal since a friendly against Finland in February of 2009.
Brazil takes on Group G whipping boy North Korea later this afternoon. If Brazil sweeps through this group with three wins and nine points, goal differential becomes key for Portugal and the Ivory Coast. Poor North Korea, right?
This was the sixth draw in 13 World Cup matches and second game without a goal. So far, there have been 1.54 goals scored per game, which is significantly lower than past tournaments. In fact, since the 1994 tournament in the United States that featured 2.71 goals per game, the goal totals have decreased each year:
1994 - 2.71
1998 - 2.67
2002 - 2.53
2006 - 2.30