Standings Before Kickoff
1.) Argentina 6 pts (+4 GD)
2.) South Korea 3 pts (-1 GD)
3.) Greece 3 pts (-1 GD, -1 goals scored against South Korea)
4.) Nigeria 0 pts (-2 GD)
All Nigeria needed to do was beat South Korea and have Argentina defeat Greece. South Korea had to get at least a draw to have a shot at advancing while the Greeks also needed a draw and a South Korea loss.
Argentina 2 Greece 0: The Greeks idiotically played for a draw and showed no intentions of attacking. They absorbed shot after shot from the Argentines until the final 15 minutes when Martin Dimichelis poked home a close-range shot off a corner kick for the 1-0 lead. In the 89th minute Lionel Messi had a 20 yard strike saved brilliantly by the Greek GK Alexandero Tzorvas….but the ball was conveniently put in the path of 36-year-old Martin Palermo, who made it 2-0 and sent the Greeks packing. Argentina plays Mexico in the Round of 16. Messi has to score eventually. He had 5 shots and could not find the net….once again he hit the post and I think that’s happened in every group stage game.
Nigeria 2 South Korea 2: A draw wasn’t enough for Nigeria, but it was for South Korea. Once again the Super Eagles took an early lead courtesy of Kalu Uche in the 12th minute. Sloppy defending cost them on a free kick as the Koreans would equalize on 38 minutes with Lee Jung-Soo getting past his defender and awkwardly managing to get a touch on the ball and level it. Another stupid foul by Nigeria would prove costly as Park Chu-Young scored from a direct free kick to take a 2-1 lead early in the 2nd half. Nigeria would square the game on a Yakubu penalty in the 68th minute (we’ll get to the Yak in a moment). They could’ve won it in the 81st after a South Korea turnover led to a great chance for Obafemi Martins 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper. Instead he chipped it wide with the goal gaping. South Korea advances while Nigeria goes home.
Martins’ miss looks tame compared to Yakubu’s shocker minutes before scoring on a penalty. This is by far the worst miss of this World Cup
1.) Argentina 9 pts (+6 GD)
2.) South Korea 4 pts (-1 GD)
3.) Greece 3 pts (-3 GD)
4.) Nigeria 1 pt (-2 GD)
Argentina vs. Mexico in the 2nd round in a rematch of their great 2006 World Cup battle, in which the Argentines won in extra time on a splendid Maxi Rodriguez goal. On the other side of the bracket we have Uruguay battling South Korea.
I’ve got both South Americans winning. South America has not lost a game in this tournament and it looks like my safe Brazil vs. Argentina pick is looking good.