Saturday, 12 June 2010

ARG v NIG (1500 GMT) (Ellis Park)

Starting Line-up
ARG: Romero, Demichelis, Heinze, Samuel, Di Maria, Veron, Mascherano, Gutierrez, Higuain, Tevez, Messi
NIG: Enyeama, Yobo, Taiwo, Shittu, Odiah, Kaita, Haruna, Etuhu, Yakubu, Obinna, Obina Ogbuke

It was come back for the Maradona after his drug test failure in 1986. But as a manager he did not have much joy of managing his homeland, as they struggled to qualify in their region. He added more woes when he didn't include Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti in his provisional squad for the world cup. They didnt have any friendly matches like other nations apart from Canada back in May, which made many home fans to concern about their team work before the start of this match.

Lagerback didn't have much time for this World Cup as he was appointed 3 months ago. To make matter worse, the team got kicked out of the hotel they booked and he could not get his players early enough to get them trained under his system. Can they turn their luck around?

1st Half
Game started with overwhelming noise of Vuvuzela and it was Argentina dominating against Nigeria. They pressurised Nigerian defence from the start and created numerous chances and it finally got paid on 7th minute, when corner kick was converted by Heinze's head.
Nigeria started play well though and two chances fell on Obinna. But he failed to score from them. Messi made two fantastic shots in midway of 1st half but it was denied by Enyeama. Since then, the game became more pedestrian pace and Argentina was happier side in 1st half.
HT: 1-0
MOTM of the 1st half: Lionel Messi: Created sitter for Higuain at the start for the match and attempted two purposeful shot, which were unfortunately saved by Enyeama.

2nd Half
It was end to end stuff in 2nd half. Argentina was first to have a chance at 48th minute, when Veron sent wicket ball inside the box, which Messi failed to make a contact. On 64th minute, it was Messi again with opportunity from Argentina's counter attack but he put the shot wide. Introduction of Odemwingie injected more pace for Nigerian team and they came close to equalise as toe-poke from Taye Taiwo sent the ball inch wide from Romero's post. Nigerian never gave up and on 82nd min, Uche had a great chance to equalise but the shot was over the bar. Disappointing result for the Super Eagles.
FT: 1-0
MOTM of 2nd half: Taye Taiwo: was extremely busy on the left flank and defended well throughout the match.

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