Full-time - 90'
2 - 1
19:00 +00:00, June 10, 2006
AOL-Arena, Hamburg, Germany
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)
FULL-TIME: Ivory Coast gave it a real go, but Argentina's class in the final third proved the difference. But the Ivory Coast have served notice that they could be a real threat in the remainder of this tournament.
ARGENTINA SUB: Riquelme is replaced by Aimar; a time-wasteing change from the South Americans as they try to see out this very tough match.
Drogba is booked for taking his protests at Argentinian time-wasteing too far.
ALMOST! Drogba brilliantly pulls away from Sorin, but just can't bring down Yaya Toure's cross in to the back post.
Abbondanzieri brilliantly claims Boka's cross from the left, under real pressure from Drogba inside his six yard box.
Eboue has a throw, deep in the Argentine half; he hurls it in to the middle, but Heinze heads clear.
Argentina have got plenty men behind the ball as the Ivory Coast press; Zokora and Dindane are threatening, but they just can't seem to work a clear shooting chance.
GOAL! NO! OFFISDE! Riquelme's shot is saved by Tizie; Rodriguez turns home the rebound, but the linesman cuts short their celebrations.
The crowd are really trying to get behind the Ivory Coast in these final minutes; they play a fantastic brand of football, one that the neutral will really admire.
Riquelme was the best player in the first half, by some distance, but he has barely had a touch since the break.
That goal is nothing more than the Ivory Coast deserve; they have really given Argentina a test here tonight.
GOAL! Drogba turns home from close range to give the Ivory Coast a real chance to put some pressure on in the final ten minutes.
Gonzalez is booked for a mis-timed sliding challenge on Zokora.
JUST WIDE! Kone flashes a shot just wide of the post after robbing Cambiaso of the ball, 30 yards out.
Dindane runs at the heart of the Argentinian defence, but is robbed by an excellent challenge from Heinze just inside his own penalty area.
IVORY COAST SUB: Kone comes on to replace Keita; it's an attacking change as their final throw of the dice; Kone is an out-an-out striker.
RUBBISH! Drogba fires in the free-kick, but his shot hits the defensive wall and goes out for a throw.
Drogba is fortunate to win a foul, 30 yards from goal, when Sorin has a little tug at his shirt.
ARGENTINA SUB: Saviola off, Gonzalez on; the Porto forward comes on to replace Argentina's second goal-scorer.
Dindane rides a couple of challenges, but fails to look up and spot his team-mates in promising positions and Sorin eventually robs him.
The game has been played at a fantastic tempo throughout; it has certainly been the most entertaining of matches so far this tournament.
Yaya Toure lofts a pass over the top for Dindane to chase, but there is too much on the ball and Abbondanzieri collects.
DEFLECTION! Yaya Toure fires an ambitious shot in from the free-kick; it takes a wicked defelection off Drogba, but the powerful striker can only turn the ball wide of the far post.
Drogba is pushed from behind by Ayala, giving the Ivory Coast a chance to loft a free-kick in to a crowded penalty area...
Dindane has certainly added something after coming on in the second half; he looks to be working better with Drogba than Kalou was in the first half.
CLOSE! Kone lashes over the crossbar after Drogba's pwoer and determination had worked a chance at the back post for the substitute.
Argentina are masters at closing out games, keeping possession and wearing their opponents down; it is going to take something special for the Ivory Coast to get back in to this game.
Sorin makes a good challenge inside his own penalty area as he intercepts a pass meant for Eboue.
The Ivory Coast are aggreived not to win a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area after Dindane is tugged to the ground by Ayala.
Just half-an-hour or so for the Ivorians to get themselves back in to the match; it seems unlikely, as Argentina have defended well, but there seems to be a real determination about the African nation.
ARGENTINA SUB: Crespo is replaced by Palacio; just a third cap for the substitute, who replaces the hard-working but tired Crespo.
Cambiasso is caught in possession and Zokora takes over in the middle of the park.
IVORY COAST: Akale is replaced by Kone; the little attacking midfielder comes on to try and inspire a comeback from the Elephants.
Argentina are just slowing the tempo of the game now, trying to play at their own pace as they look to take the sting out of Ivory Coast.
It has been an excellent performance so far from Argentina; they have strung together some of the best passing moves we have seen so far in this World Cup.
Drogba's header at the back post just fails to find a team-mate after he had been picked out following great work down the left wing by the full-back Boka.
Riquelme rolls another great pass in to the run of a team-mate; this time it is for Crespo down the right channel, but the striker can't find an Argentine head with his cross.
Abbondanzieri claims Boka's cross inside his six-yard box. The Argentinia goalkeeper has been very solid so far this evening.
IVORY COAST SUB: Kalou is replaced by Dindane; Kalou hasn't had the best of evenings.
ALMOST! Riquelme fires the free-kick in to the back post; it evades everyone and almost sneaks in at the back post.
Keita's strong challenge on Sorin out on the left touchline gifts Argentina a free-kick.
Riquelme and Saviola combine brilliantly to play the ball out of danger in their own half, before Riquelme fires a great pass over to Crespo.
Again, it is the Ivory Coast who are having the lion's share of the possession, but Argentina still look very capable of scoring on the break.
Kalou catches Mascherano with a slightly late clip on his heels, but the Argentinian defender seems to make a lot of the challenge.
Riquelme almost threads another superb pass, this time after he spots the positive run of Sorin in to the penalty area.
Drogba is still hobbling following that Heinze challenge, although when the ball comes in his direction, he mysteriously recovers his sprinting powers.
Heinze is booked for a strong challenge on Drogba; a tough call for the Manchester United defender, for he seemed to get most of the ball.
GOOD MOVE! Saviola brilliant dances past a couple of challenges before laying a pass in to the run of Rodiguez, but the shot is high and wide.
It will be difficult for Ivory Coast to improve on their first half attacking performance; they were really unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet in the fist 45 minutes.
No changes at the break.
ARGENTINA KICK OFF THE SECOND HALF.
HALF-TIME: An exhilarating half; Ivory Coast can count themselves very unlucky to be two goals behind, but Argentina look really sharp in the final third.
Drogba hits the turf again; he gets up looking disgruntled, as if the World has something against him.
Boka goes on another driving run down the left before sending over a good cross, but Argentina look very organised and committed in defence.
Riquelme fires the ball in to the near post, but he gets too much whip on his centre and the ball goes out for a goal-kick.
Eboue can't clear his lines, under pressure from Saviola, and Argentina win a late corner.
Argentina famously lost to Cameroon in their opening match of Italia 90, but they seem unlikely to slip up again to African opposition tonight.
Ivory Coast will feel so hard done-by; they have perhaps been the better side in this first half, but look likely to go in two goals behind.
That really was one of the best defence-splitting passes you are likely to see at this World Cup; Riquelme wonderfully disguised his intentions before rolling a perfectly-weighted pass in to Saviola.
GOAL! Riquelme's sublime pass finds Saviola's brilliant run, and the little striker then prods under the body of Tizie to put Argentina 2-0 up.
The temperature has dropped considerably since the afternoon, when it was very warm here in Germany; we have some excellent footballing conditions here in Hamburg at the moment.
The Ivory Coast have really responded well to going a goal down; they haven't let their heads drop, and have kept coming at the South Americans.
SAVE! Abbondanzieri makes a point-blank save from Keita after he had been presented with a golden chance by Drogba's unselfish header at the back post.
SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER! Yaya Toure picks out Kalou on the edge of the penalty area, but his side-foot shot is scuffed wide of the far post.
There seems to be a lot of space in midfield for the talented players of both sides to exploit.
Kolo Toure comes down heavily after jumping for a challenge in the air; he requires a little treatment from the trainer, but is soon on his feet and sprinting back in to position.
Ayala is the most experienced player in the Argentina World Cup, with more than a century of caps under his belt.
GREAT BLOCK! Ayala superbly blocks Drogba at the near post as the powerful striker tried to fire his shot on goal. Corner.
Boka looks to be a good player, attacking down the left flank from full-back for Ivory Coast; most of their best attacks have come down this side.
GETTING CLOSER! Akale fires wide of the near post after a nice one-two on the edge of the penalty area with Drogba.
WOEFUL! Keita beats a man as he cuts in from the right, but his left-foot shot carries no venom and is easily picked up by Abbondanzieri.
NOT FAR WIDE! Saviola drills a low shot narrowly wide of the far post from the corner of the penalty area. Good effort from the little Barcelona forward.
The Ivorians don't deserve to be a goal down; they had made a good start to their first World Cup match and had the South Americans under some pressure.
Drogba is warned by the referee after protesting to the official as a free-kick decision goes against him.
Crespo is a real goal-poacher, and that was his 30th international goal for his country as Argentina take the lead.
GOAL! Crespo prods home from close range after Riquelme's free-kick had fallen to him in to the penalty area.
Kalou lifts a ball over the top for Keita to chase, but Abbondanzieri is alert and claims easily.
Rodriguez tries to chip a clever pass over the top of the Ivory Coast defence, but he gets too much on it and Tizie collects.
This time, Abbondanzieri comes and claims the corner comfortably. Good hands from the goalkeeper.
Zokora's corner causes panic in the penalty area, but Sorin eventually hacks the ball out for another Ivory Coast corner...
Zokora wins his side a corner when his low cross is cut out at the near post...
RUBBISH! Drogba tries to pick out the run of Keita in to the penalty area, but his pass is woefully over-hit and runs through to Abbondanzieri.
Riquelme briefly looses his marker, but he blasts his shot high over the crossbar from 30 yards out.
Toure aims a long ball towards Drogba, but Ayala watches the ball well and heads clear.
Zokora seems to have been given a man-marking job on Riquelme; he is tracking the Argentinian play-maker where ever he goes.
That was a real talking point; the Argentinian players in the penalty were adamant that the ball had crossed the line as Tizie juggled the powerful header.
UNBELEIVEABLE! The corner is swung over to the back post, where Sorin powers a header goalwards. Tizie palms the ball on to the post and manages to gather at the second attempt. The Argentine players believe the ball had crossed the line, but the officials disagree.
Maxi Rodriguez fires a great cross in to the near post, but Meite defends well and puts the ball behind for a corner.
Akale whips the corner in to the middle, but Abbondanzieri comes through a crowd of players to punch clear. He looks a little uncertain, but his punch is effective enough.
Zokora's shot from distance is deflected and Ayala is forced to head the loose ball out for a corner.
There is a really good tempo to this game; it is being played fast and direct, and the fans inside the stadium here in Hamburg are loving what they're seeing.
Burdisso slides in strongly on Boka after the full-back had gone on a penetrating run down the left wing. Free-kick to Ivory Coast, but Crespo clears at the near post.
Burdisso swings a cross in to the penalty area, but Toure comfortably heads clear.
Cambiasso throws himself to ground with a wonderful swan-dive; thankfully, the referee ignores his rather desperate pleas for a free-kick.
Toure makes an important clearance on the edge of his area as Saviola looks to get a shot away.
Ivory Coast are knocking the ball around with real confidence at the back; they look really up for it tonight, really keen to make an early impression.
GOOD EFFORT! Akale fires a shot just over the crossbar from distance. An early warning for the South American giants; Ivory Coast aren't here just to make up the numbers.
Sorin feeds Riquelme with a good ball in to the box, but Eboue does well to force him backwards.
Ivory Coast have made a good start here; they look very comfortable in possession.
GOOD START! Drogba heads over the crossbar with a good effort from a cross from the left wing. Positive start by the African nation.
Ivory Coast are making their debut in the World Cup finals, but their coach, Henri Michel, is making his fourth appearance as a head coach at the tournament - only one short of the all-time record of five.
Riquelme whips the free-kick in to the penalty area, but Tizie allows the ball to drift wide of the far post.
Argentina win an early free-kick when Yaya Toure brings down Saviola, 35 yards out.
OFF WE GO! Ivory Coast kick off. Great atmosphere.
Hi, welcome to ESPN Soccernet's coverage of the opening fixture in 'The Group of Death' - Argentina v the Ivory Coast.
Juan Pablo Sorin
Juan Román Riquelme
Leandro Damian Cufré
Gilles Yapi Yapo