Soccer Night In South Africa: Keeping It Close


Two lacklustre games on the first day of action at the 2010 World Cup gave way to three thrilling games on day two. Action got better as the day went along with the much anticipated game between England and the United States. But it wasn’t the strikers who were the stars of the games today but the goalkeepers who starred today.

South Korea 2 vs. Greece 0 – It took until the second day of the tournament to produce the first game with a winner. A goal early on in each half was all the Taeguek Jeonsa needed for the win. In the seventh minute, Jung-Soo Lee tapped home a free kick that found him on the far post of the Greek goal. In the 52nd minute, Manchester United’s Ji-Sung Park took advantage of a Greek giveaway and slammed home the insurance marker. The Koreans kept their foot on the throttle all game and were unlucky to not have won by a wider margin. Greek keeper Alexandros Tzorvas faced 7 shots on goal during the match and saw another 10 sail wide of the goal as his defence played just as well as the Greek economy is going.

Argentina 1 vs. Nigeria 0 – While the scoreboard may not have reflected it, it was a dominant performance for the Argentines. La Albiceleste took control of the game with an early goal and never looked back. Gabriel Heinze found himself near the penalty spot after a corner kick and hammered home the game’s only marker. From there, Argentina kept buzzing around the goal and were always a threat to add to their lead. Despite the fact that he didn’t find the scoresheet, Lionel Messi was all over the place with 12 shots, including 4 on target. The star of the game was Vincent Enyeama who made six saves on seven shots on target to keep Nigeria in the game. If a couple of breaks had gone their way, Nigeria could easily have salvaged a draw. Mind you, without Enyeama, it could have easily been a massacre.

England 1 vs. USA 1 – 1776. 1950. And you might be able to add 2010 to the list of big wins for the United States over England. The Three Lions are the romantic choice as favourites for the World Cup but don’t tell that to the Yanks. A flukey goal and stellar goalkeeping allowed the USA to get a point from their first game. The game looked like it would be all England, though. In the fourth minute, a pretty little touch by Steven Gerrard on an Emile Heskey pass made it look as though the English would massacre the colonials. However, a fumbled ball by keeper Rob Green on a 25-yard Clint Dempsey strike in the 40th minute knotted the game at ones. From there, the English poured on the pressure but good chances by Heskey and Wayne Rooney were denied by American keeper Tim Howard who made seven saves to be named man of the match.

Man of the Day: Tim Howard (United States) – 7 saves

Group B Standings
1. South Korea 1-0-0, 3 Pts.
2. Argentina 1-0-0, 3 Pts.
3. Nigeria 0-0-1, 0 Pts.
4. Greece 0-0-1, 0 Pts.

Group C Standings
1. England 0-1-0, 1 Pts.
2. United States 0-1-0, 1 Pts.
3. Algeria 0-0-0, 0 Pts.
4. Slovenia 0-0-0, 0 Pts.

Sunday Schedule:
Group C – Algeria vs. Slovenia
Group D – Serbia vs. Ghana
Group D – Germany vs. Australia

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