Tuesday, 22nd June 2010
Greece vs Argentina
Argentina just needed a point against Greece to top the group.
Greece would have finished second; if Nigeria were to beat South Korea.
While some referees are yet to start a game at the 2010 World Cup
Finals, Ravshan Irmatov, from Uzbekistan, gets to blow the whistle for his third.
Argentina just played the ball around for the opening five minutes.
Greece then a had s light run with possession but the ball was soon back with Argentina.
Juan Veron fired a shot striaght through the middle in the 19th
minute, as Argentina moved a little further up the pitch.
Greece were let off the hook half an hour into the game; after
Argentina found their way around the back and Milito's cross was tipped into the path of
Sergio Aguero by Alexandros Tzorvas. Aguero's shot was then blocked for a corner.
Argentina's goalkeeper, Sergio Romero, finally felt the ball just
before half-time; as he fisted away a Karagounis free-kick from the right-wing.
Maxi Rodriguez and Lionel Messi then tok it in turns to make
Alexandros Tzorvas work.
The first-half probably belonged to Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who did
just about everything possible to keep Messi quiet.
Otto Rehhagel made an early defensive substitution to maybe try and
hold on to the one point and hope that Nigeria could get ahead again in the other game.
Georgios Samaras, all alone up front for Greece, tried to get the
better of three Argentina defenders and pull out a shot, across the face of the goal.
Greece might have anaesthetised everyone to win Euro 2004 but it's not
working on the world stage; their total lack of ambition here - except for trying to stop
Argentina playing - has stalled the festival of football that fans of the beautiful game
were hoping for.
Argentina finally broke the deadlock when Martin Demichelis followed
up on a corner, after the first attempt hit Milito.
Lionel Messi turned on a little magic, four minutes from time,
striding past two players and firing a shot against the post. The look of disbelief on his
face said it all.
Nobody on the field could have been happier than Diego Maradona; when
Martin Palermo was on hand to side-foot home Argentina's secod goal, after Tzorvas could
do little more than parry a Messi shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Greece 0 Argentina 2
0:1 Martin Demichelis (77 mins)
0:2 Martin Palermo (89 mins)
Man of The Match:
Sokratis Papastathopoulos - It's hard to say it but the man with the name that's hard to
say didn't let Lionel Messi say much.
12 Alexandros Tzorvas; 15 Vasilis Torosidis, 16 Sotirios Kyrgiakos, 8 Avraam Papadopoulos,
5 Vangelis Moras, 11 Loukas Vyntra; 21 Kostas Katsouranis, 19 Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 6
Alexandros Tziolis; 7 Georgios Samaras, 10 Giorgos Karagounis.
22 Sergio Romero; 3 Clemente Rodríguez, 2 Martin Demichelis, 4 Nicolas Burdisso, 15
Nicolas Otamendi; 5 Mario Bolatti, 8 Juan Sebastian Veron, 20 Maxi Rodriguez; 19 Diego
Milito, 16 Sergio Aguero, 10 Lionel Messi.
Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
46 Mins (Greece) - 4 Nikos Spiropoulos on for 10 Giorgos Karagounis
55 Mins (Greece) - 18 Sotiris Ninis on for 21 Kostas Katsouranis
55 Mins (Greece) - 3 Christos Patsatzoglou on for 15 Vasilis Torosidis
63 Mins (Argentina) - 7 Angel Di Maria on for 20 Maxi Rodriguez
76 Mins (Argentina) - 23 Javier Pastore on for 16 Sergio Aguero
80 Mins (Argentina) - 18 Martin Palermo on for 19 Diego Milito
30 Mins - Kostas Katsouranis (Greece)
76 Mins - Mario Bolatti (Argentina)
0 Red Cards.
Nigeria vs South Korea.
Argentina slipped past Greece (4:0) when the two teams met in a Boston group match during USA 1994.
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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