Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup: Argentina 1 – 0 Nigeria

Argentina began their World Cup campaign with an important 1 – 0 victory against Nigeria earlier today in Johannesburg.

Defender Gabriel Heinze (pictured), the former Manchester United player, scored the winning goal in the Group B match after just six minutes with a fantastic met header from a corner.

Lionel Messi, the World Player of the Year, was in fabulous form creating many chances but he and Argentina failed to take them.

Manager Diego Maradona will be wanting his side to be a lot more ruthless in future games.

Nigeria, to their credit, dug in and towards the end looked threatening on the counter attack, but the quality of their final ball was lacking and they failed to create a really good goal-scoring opportunity.

Argentina ran out deserved winners and they will play fellow opening match-winners South Korea on Thursday in Johannesburg.

Nigeria will face Greece in a must-win game on the same date at Bloemfontein.

World Cup: England 1 – 1 USA

England have drawn 1 – 1 against USA in their opening game of the FIFA 2010 World Cup at Rustenburg.

Captain Steven Gerrard gave Fabio Capello’s men the best start to their campaign with a well-taken finish to put his side ahead after just four minutes.

But an awful mistake from goalkeeper Robert Green just before half-time handed USA an equalising goal and England lost their lead in the game.

Despite gaining a point, England will be disappointed to have wasted several good chances throughout the match and will feel they have lost two crucial points in their Group C clash.

World Cup: South Korea 2 – 0 Greece

Goals in either half from Lee Jung-soo and Manchester United ace Park Ji-sing, helped South Korea to a comfortable 2 – 0 win over Greece earlier today in Port Elizabeth.

It was a very poor performance from the 2004 European Championship winners, but that should taking nothing away from South Korea, whose neat and adventurous play was fully rewarded.

Lee Jung-soo gave his side the lead in the first ten minutes when he tapped the ball home following a well-whipped in free kick taken by Ki-Sung-yueng.

Then just after the half-time interval, South Korea doubled their lead when Park Ji-sung raced through one-on-one after Greece defender Loukas Vyntra sloppily gave the ball away in his own half of the field.

The Manchester United midfielder made no mistake and easily placed the ball past goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas, which sealed a confidence-boosting opening win.

It was not until towards the end of the match when Greece showed some pressure and created numerous half chances – but it was too little too late.

They now must beat Nigeria on Thursday to have any chance of reaching the last 16 round of the competition.

by Nigel Slater