Posted by Muhammad Faisal Rahat | Posted in FIFA WorldCup 2010 | Posted on 12-06-2010
Tags: Argentina, England, FIFA Worldcup 2010, Maradona
Maradona’s Argentina make hard work for win
Argentina’s World Cup campaign started off with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Nigeria at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. The only goal of the game was scored by Gabriel Heinze in the 6th minute of the match through a header.
Argentina started the brighter of the two teams and their early dominance nearly paid off in the third minute when Lionel Messi burst through the Nigerian defense and created a sitter for Gonzalo Higuain which he missed. In the very next minute, Messi saw his shot tipped over by the Nigerian goalkeeper. From the resulting corner, Juan Sebastian Veron swung the ball in from the right and Heinze sent a powerful diving header into the top left corner.
Messi was a constant threat right throughout the 90 minutes as he created and missed several chances to seal the contest in Argentina’s favor. Maradona’s men were denied on several occasions by Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama who was outstanding throughout the match.
Argentina controlled the match with constant clever passes and created several opportunities, however they lacked a killer instinct that could come back to haunt them against sides with more clinical quality in the latter stages of the competition.
Nigerians, ‘The Super Eagles’, had some significant openings of their own, with Kalu Uche coming closest for his side in the ending stages of the match when he hit a half volley over the crossbar after a good cross from Yakubu.
But it was to be Argentina’s day as the early Heinze effort proved the difference between the two sides. Maradona’s men know that tougher challenges lie ahead of them and they need to work on their finishing in training.
Robert Green’s costly error gifts USA a point
England’s World Cup campaign got off to an extremely disappointing start when they couldn’t hold on to their lead at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg against the USA.
It was a fairly open contest and both teams made a bright start but it was England who got the lead in the 4th minute when Emile Heskey released Steven Gerrard down the middle who finished clinically to hand England a dream start in their opening match. It was just the kind of start the Americans were dreading.
However, the USA were level shortly before half-time when a tame effort from USA’s Clint Dempsey slipped through England’s first choice goalkeeper Robert Green’s grasp and into the back of the net! Green’s catastrophic mistake proved costly for England as they were made to enter the interval all square after a promising start.
The Three Lions refused to dwell on the events of the first half, though, as they again burst out of the blocks in the second 45. But a draw was always on the cards and both teams will take positives from the night and will be pleased to have got points on the board from what looks like being their toughest test in Group C.
For England, the equation is simple. They must win their remaining two matches in group C and have a better goal difference in order to finish top of their group.