Kamis, 17 Juni 2010

Group B: Higuain wins it for Gauchos, Greece make history

Group B entered a decisive day with the winner of Argentina vs South Korea likely through while the loser in Greece vs Nigeria can plan their trip home.

(to be updated after the second game)

Greece 2-1 (1-1) Nigeria
Goals: 0-1 Kalu Uche (16'), 1-1 Dimitrios Salpingidis (44'), 2-1 Vassilis Torosidis (71').

It was a do or die match for both sides and they gave it everything they could to win this crucial tie. In the end Greece beat Nigeria 2-1 at the Free State Stadium and in the process scored their first ever World Cup goal and win.

It was a fast paced encounter, but with many mistakes on both sides. Nigeria took the lead in the 16th minute through a Kalu Uche free kick from the left which is wrongly judged by keeper Alexandros Tsorvas and with no contact flies into the Greek goal. Nigeria thereafter dictate the match, but don't get any further chances. They weaken themselves in the 33th minute after Sani Kaita hits out at Vassilis Torosidis and for this he gets a straight red card. Greece coach Otto Rehagel realises the chance and brings on Samara to strengthen his attack and thereafter Greece suddenly are the more dangerous side, but they miss numerous chances before they score in the 44th minute through a Dimitrios Salpingidis shot from outside the box.

Greece come out stronger after the break, but around the hour mark both sides go into attack looking for the winner, but Nigeria were hampered by the fact of being a man down. And Greece scored the winner in the 71st minute. Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama could only block a Alexandros Tziolis shot and Vassilis Torosidis is there to score of the rebound. Nigeria is beaten as they thereafter look to tired with a man down to get back into the game, while Greece has chances to score more.

Argentina 4-1 (2-1) South Korea
Goals: 1-0 Chu-Young Park (16', own goal), 2-0,3-1,4-1 Gonzalo Higuain (33',76',80'), 2-1 Chung-Yong Lee (45+1').

Argentina overcame a rather weak South Korea 4-1 in their second Group B match at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

Argentina controlled the affair in the first session as South Korea couldn't play as well as against Greece as they seemed to have too much respect against their much more famed opponents. Initially Argentina played around the ball a lot, but chances were not coming their way. In the 16th minute Carlos Tevez earned them a free kick on the left close to the corner flag and the resultant Lionel Messi free kick went in off the shin of Chu-Young Park with no chance to the South Korean keeper Sung-Ryong Jung. South Korea didn't looked shocked as only a couple of minutes later a Sung-Yeong Ki shot just goes over the crossbar. But Argentina remained in charge and doubled their lead in the 33th minute when a Maxi Rodriguez free kick is headed on by Nicolas Burdisso to Gonzalo Higuain and the Real Madrid striker heads in, but the goal shouldn't have been given as he was offside. South Korea were now shocked and Argentina could have further enhanced their lead. First an Angel di Maria shot is parried away by Sung-Ryong Jung, before a brilliant Messi effort just misses the target. While everyone was ready for the break the South Koreans reduced the deficit as Martin Demichilis isn't careful on a back pass to him, Chung-Yong Lee steals the ball from him and chips it over Sergio Romero into the goal. Suddenly the Koreans were back in the game.

After the break Argentina continue were they left off, but after the first ten minutes the Koreans get back into the game. And Ki-Hun Yeon could have equalised in the 58th minute when his shot just misses the target. The game is now more open as the Koreans seem to believe that they have a chance here, but their defence would let them down. On a counter attack in the 76th minute they would concede a third. Messi combines with substitute Sergio Aguero and places the ball onto the post and Higuain scores of the rebound, but once again the Real Madrid striker scores from an offside position. The Argentinians sealed the win in the 80th minute when Aguero gets the ball to Higuain who scores his third of the afternoon. Aguero could have made it five before full time, while on the other side Korea star Ji-Sung Park tests Romero. In the end it is a deserving 4-1 win.

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