Argentina v South Korea

Vuvuzela Rating: 5.1 Mild Annoyance

The second round of group games in the 2010 World Cup has arrived, and surely this game is one of the highlights of the next few days of action. Many have lambasted the tournament so far, branding proceedings boring and failing to live up to the months of hype. Many suspiciously timed “sick-days” have been spent dozing in front of a very costly new television whilst the dog helps itself to the meticulously prepared half time snacks. This game however, pits two sides that have begun their campaigns in impressive style against each other. South Korea dispatched Greece in a confident 2-0 win, while their opponents beat Nigeria 1-0 in their opening game. If either team could emerge victorious in Soccer City they would be the first side to virtually ensure a place in the last 16.

Argentina had the majority of possession in the opening 10 minutes, but failed to create any real openings. Gonzalo Higuain in particular proving about as effective in the final third as putting a stick of celery in front of Maradona. Meanwhile, Diego Milito began his warm up after just 4 minutes of the game; the earliest ever recorded in a World Cup, and stared longingly between his manager and the playing surface.

After 16 minutes South Korea’s Park Chu-Yung found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lionel Messi delivered an inviting cross into the Korean box and the ball hit Yung before bouncing into the net. As the Argentine bench celebrated Maradona hugged his son-in-law and fellow benchwarmer Sergio Agureo in an overly aggressive manner, leaving the Athletico Madrid forward wincing in a heap within the technical area. The South Americans now had a spring in their step but were forced into a change when centre back Walter Samuel limped off to be replaced by Nicholas Burdisso. Normal service was resumed as Higuain attempted an audacious overhead kick, completely missing the ball in from Carlos Tevez.

After half an hour, following a short free kick, Maxi Rodriguez delivered a cross which was flicked on and found its way to Higuain at the back-post. The Real Madrid forward powered a header into the turf and past the despairing Jung in the South Korean goal. Even the goal-scorer himself looked surprised at the outcome as he wheeled away to celebrate his first goal of the tournament.

Against the run of play the Korean’s pulled one back, a long goal kick forward found its way to Martin Demichelis. The greasy haired defender showed all the control of an oversized dung beetle and the concentration of a goldfish with ADD, oafing the ball into the path of the onrushing Chung-Yung Lee. The Korean slotted a neat finish past Romero, giving his side a cat in hells chance of getting something out of the game at half time.

After the break the Argentine onslaught ensued with Higuain and Tevez both testing Jung Sung-ryong in the Korean goal. But the Asian side began to look a little more threatening on the break, Bolton’s Lee Chung-Yung leading the attacking threat. Meanwhile, Maradona took it upon himself to demonstrate some lovely touches on the sidelines when the ball went out of play, much to the crowds delight. The rather large Argentine coach ripping his silver suit trousers attempting to flick the ball up and had to spend the majority of the second half covering the affected area.

As the game wore on, South Korea looked a lot more like the side everyone saw against Greece and were holding their own, as opposed to being in awe of the Argentine players. Apart from Lee Young-Pyo who was seen asking Lionel Messi if he could sign his shirt while defending a set piece. At the other end Yeom Ki-hun’s showed just how fragile a one goal lead can be as he burst into the area, but also proved just how one footed he is, putting his effort wide when the goal was gaping.

Carlos Tevez was brought off for Sergio Aguero and Argentina instantly extended their lead. Messi continued his quest to score a perfect goal, seeing his first effort saved and hitting the post with his second, but the ball bounced right into the path of Higuain who finished from 0.3 yards into an empty net.

And within seconds they made it 4-1. Messi lifting a sublime ball into the path of Aguero who crossed into Higiuan, for the second time the striker used his head to direct the ball into the bottom corner of the South Korean goal. Game over. South Korea commendably attempted to reduce the deficit but Argentina continued to batter them on the attack, Aguero and Messi both going close to extending the lead even further.

The final scoreline was 4-1, Argentina were professional in the way they dispatched a tough and well organised South Korean side, who still have a good chance of progressing out of the group in second place. El Deigo continues to be the star of the show but Higuain pushed him close on this occasion.

Match Statistics (Provided by Optajoke)

75 – Argentine coach Deigo Maradona spent 75 percent of the game outside of his technical area. Wanderer.

310 – Lionel Messi took on and beat 310 South Korean players in the course of the match. Tricky.

40,000 – Gareth Southgate’s prediction of a South Korean win caused 40,000 people to rewind their Sky+ to ensure they weren’t going insane. Outlandish.

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