Selasa, 22 Juni 2010

Group B: Argentina top, South Korea move on

Argentina are somewhat through from Group B, but who would join them in the knockout stages, will it be South Korea, Greece or can Nigeria spring a surprise.

(matches to kick off simultaneously)

Nigeria 2-2 (1-1) South Korea
Goals: 1:0 Kalu Uche (12'), 1-1 Jung-Soo Lee (38'), 1-2 Chu-Young Park (49'), 2-2 Yakubu Ayegbeni (69', penalty).

In a thrilling game at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban South Korea and Nigeria played out a two-all draw which resulted in the Asians moving on into the knockout stage as Greece was beaten in the other match.

But until the end anything was possible in an open game. After some exchanges Nigeria took the lead through a Kalu Uche goal in the 12th minute. Nigeria could have doubled their lead in the 36th minute when Uche's shot hit the post, but only two minutes later South Korea equalised. Once more defender Jung-Soo Lee scored of a free kick to give the Koreans a deserving draw at half time.

After the break South Korea took the lead through another dead ball situation. Chu-Young Park's free kick in the 49th minute beat the wall and surprised keeper Vincent Enyemea who had moved a step into the middle. Nigeria seemed shocked after losing their lead, but came back strong towards the end of the game. First Yakubu Ayegbeni missed a chance to score into an empty net, but he made amends a few minutes later by scoring of a penalty. Towards the end it was an even more open game with both sides looking for the winner. Nigeria had the best chance through Obafemi Martins, but the striker put the ball wide. In the end the South Koreans would celebrate their second place in the group, which earns them a pre-quarterfinal match against Uruguay.

Greece 0-2 (0-0) Argentina
Goals: 0-1 Martin Demichelis (77'), 0-2 Martin Palermo (89').

Argentina ended their Group B campaign with a 2-0 win against Greece at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. It meant Argentina have won all their three group matches, while the Greeks travel home.

Argentina coach Diego Armando Maradona left out some of his regular first eleven players to give some of the bench players playing time ahead of likelier tougher assignments in the knockout stages. Greece meanwhile new that they had to better South Korea's result to have any chance of moving on, but their defensive tactics wouldn't help in their quest.

Argentina were in control from the start with Greece having the odd chance in-between. The Greeks were able to hold the Argentinians to a goalless draw until the 77th minute when defender Martin Demichelis on his second attempt blasted the ball in. Greece was beaten and substitute Martin Palermo would be there to double the score a minute from time after Lionel Messi's attempt it blocked by the Greek keeper Alexandros Tzorvas.

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