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Pattaya Daily News

23 June 2010 :: 13:06:58 pm 26905

Argentina Make it 3/3 as France Suffer Shock S.Africa Loss

Final group stage matches kicked-off on Tuesday with Argentina making it three wins from three matches despite a determined defensive Greece performance. France was knocked out of the World Cup following a shock loss to the host nation whilst Uruguay beat Mexico and Nigeria drew with South Korea, who also progressed into the second round.
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South Africa, the 22nd of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Argentina sealed top spot in Group B and sent Greece crashing out of the World Cup with a 2-0 victory at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday. Despite needing a point to have any chance of progressing the Grecians were happy to simply stifle the South American attack even after the breakthrough goal.

It took the tournament favourites 77 minutes to break down Otto Rehhagel’s side, the goal coming when Martin Demichelis smashed the ball into the roof of the net following a deflected header from a corner. Martin Palermo added a second a minute from time after Lionel Messi skipped through the Greek defence, giving the Argentines a perfect record heading into the second round knockout stage.

South Korea benefited from some wasteful Nigeria finishing in a 2-2 draw that allowed the Asian side to reach the last 16 as runners-up in Group B to Argentina. In a match typified by numerous Nigerian missed opportunities the South Korean’s held firm until the end gaining the point they required to finish second in the group following Argentina’s result against Greece.

The South Koreans fell behind to Kalu Uche’s 12th minute opener in Durban, but recovered strongly courtesy of Lee-Jung Soo’s 38th minute effort and a nicely struck Park Chu-Young free-kick in the 49th minute. Nigeria equalised when Yakubu rolled in a penalty on 69 minutes after substitute Kim Nam-Il’s crude foul on Chinedu Obasi. The Nigerians should have taken the match ten minutes from time when Obafemi Martin missed an open goal.

Uruguay beat Mexico 1-0 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. Despite the loss, both Mexico and Uruguay went through to the second round of the World Cup following the shock loss of France in their match with hosts South Africa. Mexico will now face off against the Diego Maradona led Argentines whilst Uruguay will meet South Korea.

Uruguay went ahead when a delicious cross from the right by Edinson Cavani was met by an unmarked Luis Suarez who beat Oscar Perez at the near post with his close-range header. Although both teams were assured of qualification should the match end in a stalemate, any plans of a prearranged agreement were quashed in what turned out to be a lively match signified by vibrant attacking football from both teams.

In perhaps the biggest upset match of the tournament to-date, hosts South Africa downed 10-man France 2-1 in Bloemfontein. Despite the win, it was not enough to prevent Carlos Alberto Parreira’s side from becoming the first host nation to crash out of the World Cup finals at the first hurdle.

First-half goals from Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela and a controversial red card for Yoan Gourcuff gave South Africa an unlikely hope of reaching the last 16, especially considering the 1-0 result in the other match between Uruguay and Mexico. The reluctance of the Bafana Bafana to push forward in attack on the back of their lead and a 70th minute goal from Florent Malouda ensured that the host nation were consigned to third in the group whilst France came last, attaining only the 1 point.

Tonight’s matches see England play Slovenia in a must win match for the underperforming Fabio Capello led side, whilst the other match in Group C sees the USA play Algeria. Group D, the most even in the competition, will see Germany play Ghana whilst the impressive Serbians kickoff against Australia.

Video’s courtesy of www.footytube.com & www.youtube.com

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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