The six teams in action today are all coming off disappointing efforts in their first games of the tournament. They all needed to bounce back with a superior effort in their second games in order to reach the knockout stages.
Argentina 4 vs. South Korea 1 – Diego Maradona has something to say to the haters. They can suck his soccer balls. Well, I’m not sure if the soccer legend can take all the credit for the win, but I’m sure that won’t stop him. Despite the epic win for La Albiceleste, they didn’t technically get credit for the first goal of the game. A Lionel Messi free kick went off the shin of Chu Young Park for the own goal. Sixteen minutes later, Gonzalo Higuain headed home his first goal of the match. In stoppage time of the first half, Chung Yong Lee took advantage of a ball misplayed by Martin Demichelis to cut the Argentine lead to 1. The second half was the Gonzalo Higuain show. He scored two goals in quick succession to triple the lead and pick up a hat trick.
Greece 2 vs. Nigeria 1 – It was a back and forth game between the two Group B underdogs. The Nigerians opened the scoring with a direct free kick by Kalu Uche from 35 yards out. It went downhill quickly for Nigeria. In the 33rd minute, Sani Kaita got a straight red card for bowling over Vasileios Torosidis after a ball rolled out of bounds. The Greeks took charge from there. In the 44th minute, Dimitrios Salpingidis took a shot from inside the box which deflected off a defender and into the cage. In the 71st minute, a rebound went straight to Vasileios Torosidis who buried the winning goal. Despite giving up the rebound that lead to the game winner, Nigerian keeper Vasileios Torosidis made nine saves and was named man of the match.
France 0 vs. Mexico 2 – Both sides ended their first with disappointing draws. In their second game, Mexico wouldn’t be denied. The French just barely made it to the 2010 World Cup and will just barely make it into the knockout stage should they be fortunate enough to get that far. The first half was scoreless but Mexcio had the lion’s share of chances. In the second half, the substitutes took control of the game. In the 64th minute, Rafael Marquez took a pass as he was just barely offside but the officials paid no notice. He went in on a breakaway, deked Hugo Lloris out of his shorts and buried the eventual game winner. Mexico also got an important second marker on a Cuauhtemoc Blanco penalty kick. Despite the win by El Tri, Uruguay still leads Group A on goal differential.
Man of the Day: Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina) – 3 goals
Group A Standings
1. Uruguay 1-1-0, 4 Pts.
2. Mexico 1-1-0, 4 Pts.
3. France 0-1-1, 1 Pts.
4. South Africa 0-1-1, 1 Pts.
Group B Standings
1. Argentina 2-0-0, 6 Pts.
2. South Korea 1-0-1, 3 Pts.
3. Greece 1-0-1, 3 Pts.
4. Nigeria 0-0-2, 0 Pts.
Group D: Germany (1-0-0) vs. Serbia (0-1-0)
Group C: Slovenia (1-0-0) vs. USA (0-1-0)
Group C: England (0-1-0) vs. Algeria (0-0-1)