Pattaya Daily News

13 June 2010 :: 12:06:13 pm 25035

South Korea & Argentina Notch 3-Up as England Fall Short

South Korea and Argentina enjoyed wins in their opening matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa whilst another tournament favourite, England, were thwarted by a spirited performance from the United States in their opening group C match.
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South Africa, the 13th of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: South Korea beat a woeful Greece side 2-0 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Greece continued their miserly showing at World Cups with a 4-loss from 4 matches’ record and no goals scored looking set to continue, if this performance is any indication.

Jung-Soo Lee opened the scoring early on before Manchester United’s striker Ji-Sung Park added a second with a coolly finished shot into the bottom corner of the Grecians goal. Korea completely dominated the first 70-minutes of the match before a late resurgence by Greece saw the Koreans have to work to close out the match.

The result puts them at the top of the table ahead of Argentina who they will next play at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on the 17th of June 2010.

In the second match of the night, Argentina completely overwhelmed Nigeria and where left wondering how they were not able to win by more that a 1-0 scoreline. Staged at Ellis Park in Johannesburg’s it was the heroics of Nigeria’s custodian Vincent Enyeama which kept the score down as he went about single-handily denying the South Americans a chance to gallop into top spot in the group.

The only goal of the game came in the sixth minute by way of a beautiful diving header from former Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze. Although Lionel Messi was at his inspirational best throughout the match he was foiled on every goal scoring occasion by the truly inspired efforts of Enyeama in the Nigerian goal.

Inside the first 37-minutes of the match Messi had already had more shots on target that any team did on the entire opening night of action. Despite the small margin, the Argentinean team ensured that Diego Maradona’s returned to the World Cup stage was a winning one.

To open up there World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against the United States is a disappointment to say the least, however a completely lacklustre England attack coupled with defensive insecurities and uncertainty in the middle must be more worrying for Coach Fabio Capello.

After taking an early lead through a typical Steven Gerrard finish off of an Emile Heskey back pass, England struggled to contain the USA who equalised through a freak goal that left Robert Green crestfallen after a relatively standard save was left to bobble into the net.

Although the England side came out after the interval to dominate the match, a resolute USA defence and the inability of England to punish their opposition in the final third of the pitch saw the scores remain a 1-1. Several missed opportunities and a stubborn defensive effort set Slovenia or Algeria up to take the lead in Group C, they play on Sunday.

Along with the Slovenia v Algeria match to rap up the first round of Group C action, Sunday plays host to the Group D competitors with two enticing matches featuring; Serbia v Ghana and Germany v Australia.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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